President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina has faulted the lack of reliable power supply as an obstacle to Nigeria’s industrial growth.
He said this on Tuesday at the 49th annual general meeting of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria in Abuja.
Adesina stated that Nigerians spend $14 billion yearly on generators and fuel. He also quoted a report by the International Monetary Fund which stated that Nigeria loses $29 billion annually, about 5.8 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product due to a lack of reliable power supply.
He said, “Today, no business can survive in Nigeria without generators. Consequently, the abnormal has become normal,” Adesina said.
“Traveling on a road one day in Lagos, I saw an advertisement on a billboard which caught my attention. It was advertising generators, with the bold statement “we are the nation’s number one reliable power supplier!”
The former minister of Agriculture also noted the various challenges affecting manufacturing in the country stating that reliable power supply is a major challenge.
“To be a manufacturer in Nigeria is not an easy business. You succeed not because of the ease of doing business, but by surmounting several constraints that limit industrial manufacturing,” he said.
“Today, the major challenge facing Nigeria’s manufacturing is the very high cost and unreliability of electricity supplies. Load shedding and the inconsistent availability of electrical power have resulted in high and uncompetitive manufacturing costs.”
Akinwumi, however, added that Nigeria needs to invest in different means of energy generation to ensure the efficiency of the local industries.
“There should be massive investments in variable energy mixes, including gas, hydropower resources, and large scale solar systems, to ensure stable baseload power for industries, to direct power preferentially to industries, and to support industrial mini-grids to concentrate power in industrial zones.
“In addition, we should develop more efficient utilities, reducing technical and non-technical losses in power generation, transmission and distribution systems,” he added.