Dr Mrs Ngozi Okonjo Iweala
If Nigeria is to achieve double-digit growth and join the ranks of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and CIVET (Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt and Turkey), the country has to overhaul its power sector, panellists at the annual investor conference organised by FBN Capital have unanimous submitted
Themed: “Catalysts for growth: A pragmatic approach”, the two-day conference sought considering the enabling factors and practical actionable initiatives that can be taken to boost Nigerian growth, especially in the capital market, agriculture/agro-allied, real estate, power and oil & gas, among others.
Power is an essential feature for economic development because it affects every sphere of a nation’s economy – both developed and developing nations aim towards establishing an efficient and effective electricity sector.
President Goodluck Jonathan made power one of his three priorities and launched a roadmap for the sector in August 2010. A new cost-reflective electricity tariff was introduced in June this year and the unbundling of the state-owned power sector has also started.
Managing Director, FBN Capital Limited, Mr. Kayode Akinkugbe, said the power sector offers huge opportunities for investment, adding that achieving successful implementation of the on-going reform in the sector would transform the nation’s fortunes.
The panellists who discussed how Federal Government can deliver on power reforms with focus on gas and financing acknowledged that there is a funding gap across the entire power sector value chain (capital expenditure, working capital, credit lines, domestic and offshore). One of the discussants –David Ladipo, partner, Azura Power, noted the need to embark on detailed cash-flow analysis around the power sector investment opportunities.
Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, had at the opening ceremony of the conference said Nigeria would continue its quest to become the leading investment destination in Africa through strategic policies and diversification of the economy.
Aganga said this would enable the nation consolidate its position as Africa’s leading investment destination with an FDI of $8.9 billion which represents 16 per cent of Africa’s total FDI of $55 billion in 2011. Aganga who was represented by Director-General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr. Joseph Odumodu, said the government was committed to consolidating on the gains so far recorded by strengthening the one-stop investment centre of the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission. “Our target is to achieve a 48-hr response for all investment linked enquiries,” he said.
Attributing the FDI growth to the growing investor confidence, Aganga noted that the creation of the Trade and Investment ministry by President Goodluck Jonathan had impacted on the country’s economic growth through its strategic trade and investment policies and programmes.