Power supply, key to GDP growth, says Nebo

The Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo, has said adequate availability of electricity supply will significantly reduce the operational cost for industries and increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The minister, who spoke at the opening session of a two day public hearing and workshop on the regulation of the electricity market post-privatization held in Abuja at the weekend, said there is a clear link between the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and electricity consumption of any nation.

Nebo stated that a healthy and financially sustainable electricity sector is the life support system for economic, investment growth job creation and retention and increase in income across all socioeconomic levels. He said when the power sector in a country fails to meet the power demand because of inefficiency, consumers and industries suffer and resort to practice of dieselfired captive power, one of the most uneconomical ways of for generating electricity.

“It is important to note here that a healthy and financially sustainable electricity sector is the life support system for economic growth, investment growth, jobs creation and retention and increase in income across all socioeconomic levels.”

According to the minister, in developing countries and emerging economies, the correlation between the provision of reliable and affordable electricity and economic growth is even more pronounced.

He urged policy makers and stakeholders in electricity market to reflect on the nation’s past two decades, where the stalled expansion of Nigeria’s grid capacity, combined with high cost of diesel and petrol generation crippled the growth of the country’s productive and commercial industries, and support the path President Goodluck Jonathan has paved to transform the power sector.

According to the minister, government launched the Roadmap for the Power Sector Reform to address the erratic and unpredictable nature of electricity supply which had brought about a deep and sense of frustration across the country.

“Therefore our first consideration is to focus on the Nigerian electricity consumers. They must have power to create jobs, to improve children’s education; to grow our economy. There is a clear link between GDP and electricity consumption. We are aware of the negative impact of current supply constraints on the Nigerian economy as being in the region and we are confident that your participation in the sector will transform the current situation and move us closer to actualising the vision of the Mr. President for the power sector by 2020”.

Nebo reiterated government’s commitment towards redirecting inward investment to the sector by the recent successes through government bonds and the contribution from the Chinese and America in addition to the existing and planned MoU’s from the global technical partners.

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