In the heart of every economic growth lies the ability to power the development. There is virtually nothing you can do in today's world without electricity - take for example, your home, once there is power outage, it becomes very uncomfortable, whether during the day or at night, what differs most times is the degree of discomfort.
So if power or electricity is that important to you as an individual, same goes for companies, communities and nations. Ever since the discovery of electricity, development in many forms has not been possible without it.
Clearly it has to be addressed for us to move from here to the next phase, NO POWER NO DEVELOPMENT.
Power in itself is a form of development and also a business, don't you wonder why this lucrative sector seem to be abandoned by very hungry capitalists?
As an investment banker myself, I know the most important factor in an investment is profit but it's not the only factor.
So, since it is guaranteed that investments in the power sector in Nigeria would bring good ROI why then do we not have billions of dollars being thrown around in this sector in Nigeria?
This is the question that can answer all our problems.
In this almighty question lies our 25 to 40 million jobs. This is
where our insecurity problem is hiding, our stunted economic growth, our corruption, even education backwardness is linked to.
Every social ill you could think of is linked to this almighty
question, WHY IS THERE NO LIGHT?
On an average I spend N22,500 (1,500 every two days) to augment for power supply in my house every month, and about N15,000 for the office, many homes and businesses spend far more than I to do the same thing.
This huge economic loss is not accounted for.
Power eats up everything. Remember, without energy you can't do anything. It remains the centre of economic growth and the nucleus of national development.
NIGERIA as a country needs an investment of $40b to have sufficient power supply enough for us to begin our industrial revolution, I mean the kind of industrial revolution that occurred in the UK in the 1800s. Nigeria is yet to attain such, and the gateway to this ground-breaking revolution is electricity.
But the issue here isn't really about the availability of these
billions of dollars, it is the state of the power sector in Nigeria at the moment.
The privatisation of GENCOs and DISCOs was supposed to launch the country into uninterrupted power supply, but this has not been the
Our power generation is still abysmally low and the transmission of this very little amount generated is still a problem. Distribution is a problem as 70% of the country is "unmetered".
But beyond all of this lies the main problem, The Bad financial books of the power companies and The Corruption in the government sector in Nigeria are the reasons WHY THERE IS NO LIGHT.
We urgently need to clear this sector and make it attractive to
investors, deploy a transparent process of doing business in this
sector and make it completely private sector driven with very
effective monitoring system.
So how do we get out our 25million jobs or more out? This is the task before us as a country. We need to unlock our potentials and set our nation on the path to sustainable development.
Like I said in my article of may 29, there is an urgent need for us to diversify our power sector, introduce multiple grids system and multiple sources of power generation.
The beauty of this is that the government does not have to spend so much on this.
We only need to clear our books and make the process transparent to attract the best energy companies to the sector, and boom we are good to go.
The sector itself has the capacity of absorbing 4million of our young people from the Labour market and generate billions in dollar terms and increase our per capita income, improve our GDP and improve our everything.
The telecom industry in Nigeria is now worth about N25trillion. This sector was practically non existent before 2001, yet, this sector has generated thousands of direct and indirect jobs.
This is what is expected of the energy sector, but much more than providing jobs, the sector holds the keys to every other aspect of our development, the solid mineral industry alone could absorb 7million people, electronics manufacturing industries could create millions of jobs both directly and indirectly, SMEs sector in the country would burst the banks, millions of jobs would be created, Toyota would manufacture their cars in somewhere around Ekiti, Ford would be somewhere around Anambra, modular refineries would be scattered around the country, this does not even need a brilliant president but just a visionary leader with determination to do what is right.
I am a lover of national carriers, I love the sound of the name
"Nigerian Airways", it tickles my sense of patriotism, it makes me feel the gusto that nothing else can, so Nigerian Airways is very dear to me. I want to see it work, so I would love to have it established by the Nigerian people.
It could be started with an IPO of N900billion subscription by
Nigerians, this would allow us to buy minimum of 5 brand new air crafts, but for effective management this would be run purely as a business with dividends payable to shareholders.
We shall have aircraft maintenance hangers in Nigeria and refine our aviation oil locally, this would bring down the price of air travels and stimulate inter state economic relationships. The success of this plan is also tied to availability of power.
The resultant effect would be evident in education, healthcare, water supply, security, exchange rate etcetera.
What I envision is a Nigeria that has a minimum of one major industry per state, unemployment down to less than 3%, economy growing at 16%, fair income spread, high productive Labour force, very balanced international trade, highly developed infrastructure, effective government system and a highly confident PEOPLE.
Mathias Baba Tsado
ADP Presidential Aspirant