By Ediri Ejoh, Houston, Texas
CONTRARY to popular views power supply may not witness significant improvement with privatisation, as industry experts call for a long term sustainable strategy.
Speaking at the ongoing Gastech- Exhibition and Conference in Houston, Texas, Vice President, Business Development and Sales, Karpowership, Gonzalo Meza, stated that the sector, in a developing country such as Nigeria, will take up to 10 years before gaining some stability after full privatisation.
He said, “In developing and growing economy as Nigeria, you have almost the same structure in ensuring steady power supply. First you make feasibility study, raise the financing, build engineering and commission it.
“What you are building is not a short term but about 10 years before you start reaping. The case of Nigeria is like running a race against moving targets. And the time it will take to start it is now. We need to plan about the future, think of the energy you don’t have and know it is costing the country new investment, growth, all the direct cost lost in wages and so on.
“This is because power is like a central point to other development in a country’s economy, be it the medical, large scale businesses.”
Also speaking, Director, Modec International Inc, Oise IIhonde, faulted Nigeria’s power sector governance system.
According to him, “The power supply programme should not be tied to a political office holder. The solution to solving Nigeria’s power supply is to set up a programme that is a long term and not trying to solve it within a tenure of a given politician or political office holder.
“There should be a separate entity that is not politically based and void of political tenure and they should be commissioned to solve the nation’s power problem. Also, the individuals should be technocrats with no term limit which makes it management by objective.”
He also added that: “Infrastructures need to be put in place and across the value chain such as the generation, transmission and distribution.
“From our findings, structures in Nigeria are over 50 years old and in need of a total overhauling to drive the needed actions in the power sector. We have got the fuel (gas) that is 60 percent of the cost, and all we need is the infrastructure to get it right.
“We cannot solve the power sector’s problem without a synch to all the value chains. Electricity is as strong as your weakness link. If there is a weak link the development cannot be seen. It will take five years to start any power but it is a commitment and that cannot be done with current Nigeria’s political system.”