By Anayo Ezugwu
THE Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, has challenged the federal government to develop the power sector and economy through innovations. Babatunde Ruwase, president, LCCI, said reforming the power sector in Nigeria should align with the global energy direction of increasing renewable in the energy mix.
Speaking at the business interactive workshop between members of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Peter Ngene, winner of the 2018 Nigeria Prize for Science in Lagos, Ruwase said renewable energy presents an opportunity for Nigeria to harness new discoveries in solving her power supply challenges. He noted that the invention by Ngene has positive implications on renewable energy development that the country can benefit from.
Ruwase believes that Ngene’s work will expand the energy market in Nigeria with efficient energy storage. “Harnessing the potentials and the knowledge available in modern day science has become imperative for us as a nation to be innovative in tackling many of the problems currently bedeviling the country. A major challenge being faced by the country which has persisted for too long is the provision of adequate and stable electricity for domestic consumption and for industries in Nigeria.
“Epileptic power supply is a serious setback affecting the growth and development of the Nigerian economy. It remains a major cause of failure of many businesses and an impediment to the development of the industrial sector. This lack of reliable power to meet the increasing requirements of a rapidly growing economy is predicted to have resulted in GDP loss of $470 billion or N71 trillion from 1999 to 2015. (The World Bank’s Africa Infrastructure country diagnostic and a 2015 Mckinsey report).
“As at July 9, the federal ministry of power, works and housing stated that peak power generation was 4,804 megawatts (MW), while maximum available capacity stood at 7652.6MW for a population of 200 million people. When compared to South Africa and Egypt with 51,309MW and 42,000MW electricity production capacity for a population of 58 million and 100 million people respectively.
“It becomes obvious that power generation in Nigeria is in a huge deficit. This situation has compelled both the private and public sectors in Nigeria to resort to self-generating options at enormous costs. Most businesses spend as much as 20 to 30 percent of their total operating cost on generating power.
“The fundamental issues in the electricity sector include: inadequate generation capacity to meet the demand for electricity; limited capacity of the transmission network to evacuate total generated power resulting in huge technical losses down the line; dilapidated distribution system and aged transformers; inefficiencies in revenue collection due to poor metering system; high commercial losses (electricity theft) and non-cost reflective tariff and poor investment across the system,” he said.
Ruwase acknowledged these challenges and their daunting nature. He said it is pertinent to note that these challenges also present opportunities for innovations that can help Nigeria surmount the electricity problems. He noted that there is an urgent need to change the narratives and focus on the innovative ideas that can enable practical solutions.
“Therefore, the theme of this business interactive session, ‘Innovations in Electric Power Solutions’ presents a platform for reshaping our mindset. It would also help champion the birth of new ideas and practical ways to make the power sector work as it should be in order to promote the economic development aspiration of our country.”
Ruwase commended the Nigeria LNG Limited for sustaining the Nigeria Prize for Science in the quest to develop the country through science, research and technology. He said this patriotic mission is highly commendable. “The Nigeria LNG Limited is no doubt a success story which serves as a point of reference for other players in the energy sector to become globally competitive players. We urge you to continue to blaze the trail of performance,” he said.
– July 19, 2019 @ 13:59 GMT |