The Nigerian government on Tuesday held another round of the Presidential Quarterly Business Forum where it interfaces with key players in the private sector on how to improve the economy.
Shortly after the event, Voice of Nigeria’s State House Correspondent interviewed some of the participants, drawn from the power sector.
One of them, Ismaila Isa, the Vice Chairman, Mainstream Energy Solution, an electricity generation company, advised government to stop subsidising electricity.
“Whether government likes it or not, they have to review the tariff of power in this country all those playing politics with it that they do not want to increase people do not want to hear of this. Power is cardinal to the economic development in any nation, we cannot afford to continue the way we are going we are producing power, government cannot continue to pay because they have no business paying, you are consuming power you want the government to pay for you,” he querried.
Mr Isa urged citizens to be ready to pay the required tariff for electricity.
“Nobody can give you power for free and there is no way government can continue paying because they will keep on piling up the debts to a point where you will push the power producers to the wall that they cannot produce anymore. I give you an example, we are producing hydro water electricity from Kainji and Jebba; government is paying, N11 naira per kilowatt hour but when it is gas they pay N22 naira for the same kilowatt hour, but the person who is producing with gas is buying the gas at what price? So government has to try to remove its hand from this sector completely. Anybody who wants power should pay for it. People do not want to hear about this but one has to speak the truth, we are all Nigerians,” he said.
On his part, Mr Kola Adesina of Sahara Group said creating such a forum was a step in the right direction. He then highlighted what needs to be done, to revamp the power sector.
“Essentially meetings like this go a long way in bringing together all the critical stakeholders with regards to the sector. One of the things that you cannot do in this sector is to isolate each of the units and deal with that unit alone. You will not get the kind of result you desire so it’s now more important for you to have a holistic approach i order to resolving all the conflicts in the sector, so essentially a session like this help enhance a unified approach in resolving the problem of the electricity sector in Nigeria,” Mr Adesina stated.
He further said a nation as great as Nigeria should not be celebrating 4000 megawatts it currently generates. Rather, it should do more.
“So everyone of us the public and private sector must get down to vast tax and ensure that we rapidly grow the system that value chain to ensure that we steadily grow to the extent to enhance availability of supply to our people,” he advised.