By Oscarline Onwuemenyi
A London based company, Africonomie Group, has expressed support for the Federal government’s drive to reform the power sector, and called on investors from across the world to take advantage of the unique opportunity offered by Nigeria to invest in sector.
The Chairman, Advisory Board of Africonomie Croup, Mr. Ashimawan Adum, who spoke Energy Summit, in Abuja, charged the government to perfect the regulatory framework that will remove all impediments against investors in the power sector.
He noted that the Power Summit redefines the concerns of stakeholders in Nigeria on the most appropriate policy making and decision taking formula for electricity supply and the critical infrastructures network that will accommodate our country in the years to come.
He said, “According to global statistics, Nigeria has a growth potential of grossing 350 million inhabitants by the year 2030, making it one of the five most populated countries in the World. For any democracy or any government, providing energy for such a multitude is a mammoth task not to mention that maintaining a power efficiency that will span the next half century remains a frightening challenge to all here today.
“I enjoin you all to take advantage of all our inland waterways and river basins for Hydropower; I invite you all to fire up clean coal steam plants from the southeast to the northwest, I encourage you to beautify the southern coastline with windmills and our northern borders with solar farms.
“Help us convert our waste to energy and give us clean electricity – CHEAPLY so we can be amongst the leading industrialized nations before our population overwhelms us and consumes the little we have to survive on today.”
Adum further pointed out that the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan has made power reform his highest priority; an indication that he understands that sustainable power supply is key to developing economic and social infrastructure.
“He knows that stable and reliable access to electricity does not only mean light but it is a major social, economic and environmental change that contributes to the alleviation of poverty, illiteracy, and disease.”
He added that despite the President’s unfaltering commitment to privatize six generating companies and 11 distributors; the process has created market inefficiencies and dislocations that require significant capital investment and exceptional management.
“Given the scale of such an objective, and the implications of failure, it is clear that progressively developing an unbiased private sector led platform for collaborative engagement of the industry has never been more challenging or exciting,” the statement added.
The Power Summit brought together both national and international key players in the power, energy, oil and gas sectors to evaluate the huge potential that abound in Nigeria, and also to discuss any impediments against opening up the market for investors in line with global trends.
According to the Chairman of the Nigeria Energy and Power Summit, Mr. Nat Yaduma, there is a significant and verifiable effort by government in privatizing the power sector is open for every investor to see.
He noted that, “Government took a major step by unbundling the sector and subsequently set up companies with responsibilities of simplifying the on-going efforts to attract investors. Some of these efforts are in the areas of setting up the Nigeria Energy Regulatory Commission, NERC, the National Integrated Power Plant (NIPP) and most recently the Nigerian Electricity Bulk Trading Company (NEBT) as special vehicles with specified functions.
“For example the NIPP’s primary function is building some power plants to generate electricity and the bulk purchasing company’s function is to buy off all electricity generated by the generating companies. These will give investors the comfort and assurances that they will get money for value.”
According to him, “NEPS is designed to facilitate action towards providing greater clarity on the Nigeria power sector reform, improving investor confidence by reducing policy uncertainty seen as a key risk, encouraging investment in renewables energy, facilitate power infrastructure development and bankable power projects.
“The summit is a one-stop shop that provides you with a comprehensive overview of key aspects of the Nigerian energy and power markets: from science and technology to policy reforms and project financing.”