The founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Mr.Tony Elumelu, has blamed the current epileptic power situation in Nigeria on what he described as “short-sighted regulatory regimes and self-serving policies.”
Elumelu who said this on Sunday in Abuja at the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) annual general conference called for investments in Nigeria’s power sector.
He said there is need to create regulatory structures that will provide industries with sustainable and robust power supply that the country so urgently needs.
Elumelu, who is also the chairman of Transcorp Power Limited, said it was worrisome that Nigeria has abundant gas resources but cannot optimally operate its power plants due to lack of gas.
He said, “Let me give you an example: The TransAfamPower Plant that belongs to Transcorp Group has an installed capacity of 1000 megawatts. The Federal Government of Nigeria made significant investment to acquire 240 megawatts fast power turbines from General Electric (GE).
“For context, 240 megawatts of electricity can power about one million homes in Nigeria.Yet, GE has threatened to pull out of the project, because our nation – with some of the largest gas reserves globally, could not provide 65mm scuffs of gas needed for the comprehensive testing of the installed fast power plant.
“We have idle gas fields and there is so much private capital to make the needed investments for gas production. Yet, we cannot produce gas to power our economy and 21st century industrialisation.
“Thanks to a short-sighted regulatory regime and self-serving policies that keep our people permanently in the dark. This has to change.”
The billionaire businessman also urged the country to invest in security as banditry, kidnapping, oil theft, pipeline vandalisation and transmission line cuts create uncertainties, fears, deprivation, poverty, and untold hardship.
Nigeria’s electricity generation has been between 4,000 to 5,000 Mega-Watts despite investments in the power sector.