18 January 2017, Lagos –The power sector has recorded the lowest number of jobs created out of all the priority sectors identified by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
The government had identified the diversification of the economy as one of the six major strategic intervention areas, highlighting reforms in the agriculture, power, manufacturing, information and communications technology and tourism sectors as gateway to achieving this.
In the fourth quarter of 2015, the power sector generated only one job, which rose marginally to four in the first quarter of 2016. However, a deficit of 80 was recorded from April to September 2016.
Job creation in the manufacturing sector also had -20.6 per cent growth rate between October 2015 and March 2016; and significant growth of 127 per cent between April and September 2016.
However, some subsectors like motor vehicle assembly, chemical and pharmaceutical, textile, and oil refining recorded negative growth in job creation between April and September 2016.
The agriculture sector created lots of jobs in the period under review, with the majority in the crop production subsector.
The first and second quarters of 2016 saw the sector recording a significant 627.76 per cent rise in new jobs, which increased by 4.53 per cent in the third quarter.
In 2016, the government designed several projects to generate and distribute 7,000megawatts of electricity.
To achieve this, it was reported that the government had agreed to a €50m loan with the French government for capacity building and upgrade of power training facilities in Nigeria.
It was learnt that the country had also signed a $237m agreement with the World Bank to improve power and that an agreement was reached with the Chinese government to improve Nigeria’s power infrastructure.
In an interview recently, the Chief Executive Officer, Egbin Power Plc, Mr. Dallas Peavey, said that the operators had lost huge sums of money and were weighed down by the debts owed by the government.
He had said, “We have never made a profit. We are owed N86bn and we have lost $300m in the last three years directly out of our pocket, because we haven’t been paid and because we have invested that money and we have got no returns.
“We don’t expect the returns immediately, but at some point, every business has to be able to sustain itself with profits or returns on its investment.”