21 March 2014, Abuja – The Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo has restated the determination of the federal government to revolutionalise the nation’s industrial sector by boosting electricity supply, saying power is key to industrial revolution.
The minister spoke yesterday in Lagos at the Power Investors’ Summit Nigeria, tagged, “Maintaining Momentum in Nigeria’s Power sector.”
He said before the present administration assumed office, the industrial sector was almost dead.
According to him, “At the industrial cluster in Nnewi in 1996, there were about 47 industries but by 2013 they had come down to only six industries; the others died because of power problems.
“One of these industries was spending a minimum of one tanker load of diesel every day to power its plants. One tanker load is equal to 33,000 litres and when you multiply this, it translates into billions of naira just to power the industries using diesel.
“So these are the problems we have in the past and still grappling with today. But in all these problems, there are huge opportunities, opportunities that span across the economic horizon in Nigeria.”
Nebo further explained that the conference was to discuss investment in the power sector, stressing that Nigeria is globally known as Africa’s major investment destination.
He told the gathering of international investors that the returns on investment in Nigeria remain high.
“We are here to talk on investment. It is well known that Nigeria is Africa’s number one investment destination when it comes to issues of return on investment.
“Nigeria is one of the top four in the world with about 35 per cent returns on investment reported successively in the last few years,” he added.
He said the power investors’ summit was necessary to grow the sector, adding that power is not something one can recoup the investment in a day.
According to him, there is need for sustainable intrusion of capital to make it continue to grow at an appreciable rate.
He said investment in the sector would energise Nigerians, create jobs, reduce poverty and create wealth.
The summit was aimed at facilitating discussion between key stakeholders in the public and private sectors, in order to discuss ways to optimise energy opportunities in Africa.
– Ejiofor Alike, This Day