Generator economy – The Nation

  • We must fix power supply to have a competitive business climate

Nigeria’s descent to the global poverty capital is substantially due to its poor infrastructure generally. However, the effect of lack of sustainable electricity supply in a 21st century economy is so glaring as businesses and households suffer tremendously under the yoke of darkness.

The report that Nigerian businesses and households spend a whopping $22 billion (about N9.053trillion) annually to fuel their generators should not surprise anyone. The amount does not include the other alternative power sources like solar, inverters and other modern ways of generating electricity.

Sadly, however, in a country that politicians are never held accountable for not keeping their campaign promises, the people are still told by politicians during election campaigns that their mission, if elected, is to provide electricity and other infrastructure. This is almost like a yearly sing-song.

The saddest part of this huge expenses on private provision of electricity by individuals, governments and businesses is that the money is paid to other economies as Nigeria exports its crude oil and imports all its premium motor spirit, diesel and all other by-products in the production chain. So, invariably, the bulk of the money goes to fuel other economies.

The Investment Climate and Exceptions to National Investment launched by the Energy Commission of Nigeria made this damning situation known in Abuja, last week. What was not included in the report is that many companies have either closed down or moved to other countries with better infrastructure, like Ghana, that celebrated a 10-year uninterrupted electricity supply a few years back. Also, Twitter recently announced its intention to open its African office in Ghana despite the fact that Nigeria is its prime clientele base on the continent.

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