To further stimulate growth in the Nigerian energy sector and create enabling environment that drives development across the sub-sector, Managing Director, Sahara Power Group, Mr. Kola Adesina, has urged policymakers to critically re-assess existing policies with the aim of analyzing their consequential impact on stakeholders.
Mr. Adesina made this remark at the maiden edition of Sahara Power Roundtable, a high-powered forum where stakeholders including government, policymakers, Consumer Advocacy Groups and industry watchers converged to analyze issues in the sector with a view to tackling the challenges.
He said: “There is need to constantly do a systemic revaluation of every policy that is churned out. I want to recommend to government and policy makers that any action being taken, every stakeholder, the relevant public that will be affected by the policy must assess the degree to which those policies will affect them.”
According to him, significant results have been recorded by some operators across the sub-sector following the privatization, but certain setbacks caused by misalignment of vision, objectives, strategy, policy and regulations in the sector have inhibited its progress.
“While it is easier for economists to speak to the theory of pricing from the standpoint of cost, revenue and profit, affordability is another issue some are not paying attention to. We all are aware that there are citizens in Nigeria who are not employed and/or incapable of paying the appropriate tariff, it invariably behoves on the government to step in and cover the gap so that the shortfall currently impeding on the success of the sector can be erased. The social contract of government is to ensure everybody lives a good life. So for everybody to live well there is a need for everyone to be electrified,” he added.
He noted that there is no economic margin that anyone can put in place to remedy and guarantee efficiency and effectiveness of supply when the cost of the commodity is higher than the commodity itself.
“Every Nigerian deserves to have electricity, it is a right. The value chain equally have a right to be paid cost reflective tariff. If the revenue of every member of the value chain is not guaranteed, there cannot be guarantee of supply of commodity in question,” he noted.
Mr. Adesina while speaking on the objectives of Sahara Power Roundtable said: “Through discourse and constructive conversation, we hope to examine the current state of the power sector in Nigeria and how both the intrinsic and extrinsic are combining, evolving and reacting against each other to shape the future.”
An affiliate of Sahara Group, a leading international energy conglomerate, the Sahara Power Group is one the largest private power businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa. Its operating entities include, First Independent Power Limits, FIPL; Egbin Power Plc, sub-Saharan Africa’s largest privately owned thermal power generation plant and Ikeja Electric Plc, Nigeria’s leading Electricity Distribution Company.
The Sahara Power Roundtable featured two interactive panel sessions where the panelists including Managing Director of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), U. G Mohammed; Lagos State Commissioner for Ministry of Energy & Mineral Resources, Mr. Olawale Oluwo; President/founder, Consumer Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria, Mrs. Sola Salako and Head, Procurement, Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc. (NBET), Mr. Eugene Edeoga, examined the plethora of issues affecting players in the value chain with a view to proffering solutions.
Managing Director/Publisher of Business Day, Mr. Frank Aigbogun, during the second panel session noted that political parties and aspirants could gain support of electorates on the basis of promise to improve power supply, while the media plays critical role in shaping the opinion of consumers.
MD of TCN explained the series of ongoing projects being carried out by TCN as part of efforts to boost transmission. He also noted that manpower development was identified as one of the ways to achieve sustainability in the subsector.
Mrs. Salako who spoke on behalf the Nigerian consumers submitted that customers will only be ready to pay for services if they are well informed and knowledgeable about the issues in the power sector and if offered desired services.