Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has said that the returns on investments in Nigeria’s electricity market are much more than the challenges it presents to investors and operators already in it and those willing to come in.
He said at the Power Nigeria Exhibition in Lagos that investment opportunities which exist in the market were propelled by its transition from a government-controlled and operated sector for 63 years to a government-regulated but private sector operated sector in the last three years.
He said the sector and Nigeria remains an investment destination no serious investor would want to ignore, adding that there are challenges which high returns on investment clearly outweigh.
The minister in a statement from his senior communications aide, Mr. Hakeem Bello in Abuja, thus called on the private sector to embrace the investment opportunities offered by the power market.
“As Mr. President recently remarked in the United States, this is an investment destination that the rational investors cannot ignore. Are there challenges? Yes, there are. Those are the risks of entrepreneurship. But the opportunities and the return on investment clearly outweigh the challenges,” said Fashola.
He noted that one of the challenges in the sector was liquidity which he said the government was laying down adequate steps to address.
According to him, government would provide an environment that would enable the private sector thrive, deepen its investment and contribute to its stock of incremental power.
He said: “Our policies seek to ensure that investors who play by the rules will recover their investments and a decent profit, while we protect consumers from people who want to profiteer.”
Fashola equally said that in the challenges of the sector demands that the Nigerian public know what was going on, and commitments put in to address them.
He reiterated government’s commitment to and focus on improving the sector to expeditiously stimulate the economy back to growth and inclusion.
He also asked Nigerians to be mindful of the fact that the sector’s transition was less than three years, and so must manage their expectations for results within the context of the unfruitful power experience of 63 years.