07 February 2014, Lagos – The CEO of General Electric (GE) Nigeria, Mr. Lazarus Angbazo has decried the deficit in power generation in Nigeria, describing it as the bane of rapid development of critical sectors of the economy.
Angbazo who made the remarks at the Standard Bank Investor’s Conference in Lagos, Tuesday, stated that though Nigeria is growing at amazing 7%, the country is doing so with almost no power compared to other rapidly growing nations.
“Nigeria’s deficit in power generation as the bane of rapid economic development, industrialisation, and job creation is probably over flogged, but for good reason too.
“Today our consistent power generation output stands at about 4,000 megawatts for a country of over 170 million people with power generation needs in excess of 200,000 megawatts.” He said, adding that “South Africa with a population of about 50 million people, which is less than a third of Nigeria’s population, generates over 45,000 megawatts of electricity.”
He equally pointed out that Texas alone generates over 34,000 megawatts of electricity – nearly 10 times more electricity than the whole of Nigeria.
“The city of New York with a population of 8 million people consumes 200,000 megawatts of electricity every day, 50 times more than we presently generate for 170 million people,” he said.
Nevertheless, Angbazo sees light at the end of the tunnel for Nigerian power sector as being driven by the various efforts of the government to turn around the sector.
“As primitive as the present situation appears, nearly everyone can now see light at the end of the tunnel due to a combination of factors. Fundamentally, a “well-thought-out” power sector reform is being implemented by the Nigerian government.
“Our confidence is buoyed by the fact that the right steps are being taken in the right direction. As you are aware, the Power sector is capital intensive and the financial and technical resources required to rescue Nigeria from this dismal and unacceptable condition are clearly beyond the government’s capabilities. This is why we believe that government has done the right thing by implementing full scale privatisation.”
According to Angbazo, the greater dividends accruable from government’s reform efforts will exert overwhelming results in the overall economy by the time it is completed.
“Just close your eyes for a second and imagine what would happen to the Nigerian economy if we were generating 200,000 megawatts of power. Imagine the impact on SMEs, job creation, per capital income, inflation, the cost of doing business and so on,” he noted.
Angbazo who described his organisation, GE as “a power company”, and one of the biggest in the world, with over 25% of the world’s power generation capacity produced by GE turbines says GE is proud that it is playing a significant role in Nigeria’s Power sector.
It will be recalled that the global infrastructure giant, GE recently signed a financing agreement with Standard Bank, Africa’s leading financial institution in a partnership that seeks to provide affordable access to power infrastructure to augment traditional large scale grid capacity development in an effort to increase access to power infrastructure in Africa.
The partnership will target 10 priority countries: Nigeria, Angola, Tanzania, South Africa and Ghana. Others are Kenya, Mozambique, Uganda, Ethiopia and South Sudan. Financing activity will centre on project finance, equipment finance, trade finance and advisory. The program will be open to independent power producers (“IPPs”) and non-recourse infrastructure projects, industrial and manufacturers, natural resource companies, food and agricultural processors, small to medium enterprises (“SMEs”), and other potential borrowers.
– This Day