The President, African Development Bank Group (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, has said the regional financial institution provided $200 million for the Nigeria electrification project designed to fill the electricity access gap in the country. This, according to him, is in addition to $210 million it invested in Nigeria’s transmission project to strengthen the grid power evacuation and regional interconnection.
Adesina, while lamenting the sorry state of electricity in Nigeria at the 50th Anniversary of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), which held yesterday in Abuja, said the bank also launched the desert-to-power initiative, a $20 billion project, to provide electricity for 250 million people across 11 countries of the Sahel, including Northern Nigeria.
While identifying inconsistent power supply, load shedding and inadequate investment in power value chain, he pointed out that these challenges had stifled capacity utilisation of Nigeria’s factories to around 40 per cent as against desired utilization capacity of 70 per cent, a situation that compels firms to be moving to neighboring countries, where there is greater macroeconomic stability, enabling environments, and a much better ease of doing business atmosphere. Delivering the Adeola Odutola lecture themed: “Overcoming Binding Constraints to Competitive Manufacturing for Intra-regional Trade,” the AfDB president lamented that most Nigerian companies selfprovide their own energy, with a high dependence on generators, diesel and heavy fuel oil, stressing that the emission contributions made them brown industries, and not green industries.
Quoting statistics to back his assertion of worsening state of power in Nigeria, he said IMF estimated that Nigeria loses $29 billion annually, 5.8 per cent its GDP, due to lack of reliable power supply just as Nigerians spend $14 billion per year on generators and fuel. “A lack of electricity is killing Nigerian industries, something Chief Odutola was concerned about in 1971. According to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, industries spent N93.1 billion on alternative energy in 2018, 47 years after Odutola. Today, no business can survive in Nigeria without generators. Consequently, the abnormal has become normal…”