27 August 2014, Nigeria has topped the list of generator-importing countries for the fourth year in a row, having surpassed others since 2002, Chairman, Benin Electricity Distribution Company Limited (Vigeo Holdings), Mr Gbolade Osibodu, said yesterday.
He said for instance, the country accounted for 35 per cent or $152million of the total $432.2million spent by African countries on generator imports in 2005.
The effect is that nearly all surviving manufacturing companies run private plants, with more production costs being shifted to the consumers.
Speaking during the plenary session at the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Annual General Conference in Owerri, with the topic: Nigeria: Any Hope for an Industrial Revolution? Osibodu said development would continue to elude Nigeria until there is regular power supply.
“Nigeria has all it takes – sufficient water, gas, manpower, etc – to solve the power problem in the country. Nigeria is faced with inadequate and unreliable power supply, making it difficult to achieve needed economic growth and development,” he said.
Osibodu expressed optimism that ongoing power sector reform would guarantee power supply, adding that post-privatisation challenges such as inadequate generating capacity and transmission limitation must be tackled.
“Successful reform of the power sector will lead to revitalisation and growth of industries in Nigeria. To the question: Any hope of industrial revolution in Nigeria? The answer is Yes, but this will require the commitment of all stakeholders,” he said.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Solomon Asemota, who chaired the session, said industrial revolution in Nigeria would depend on the immediate ending of the ideological war between liberal democracy and Sharia
He said: “Sharia is the direct opposite of the industrial revolution with the policies it tries to enforce as is with Boko Haram and its desire of a world caliphate through violence and force. It is feudalistic and retrogressive.
“The enforcement of Sharia is in fact the protection of a system that perpetuates oligarchy because the oligarchs are the interpreters of Sharia. It is essentially politics of the stomach typified by Boko Haram. We have remained stagnant over the years because of our dual ideology.
“Brazil, India, Indonesia, China etc with whom Nigeria’s GDP effectively competed in the 1960s that have one ideology have made progress.
“Until Nigeria develops democracy as its ideology industrial revolution will only remain a mirage.”
– The Nation