Nigeria’s power sector crisis surmountable, says Otedola
Femi Otedola, the chairman of Geregu Power, says Nigeria’s electricity sector has several issues, but they are surmountable with leadership and willpower.
Otedola who spoke on Tuesday at the closing gong ceremony hosted by the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) in Lagos to commemorated Geregu’s first annual general meeting as a listed company, said it is a matter of leadership in the country and will power.
“Of course, with Forte and Zenon, I used to control the diesel market. Today, I am crying. I have asked my team (my back office) to start installing solar power to save the cost of diesel. If power is well organised, it is even cheaper.”
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Otedola added that if the country has an efficient power supply — which is achievable — diesel usage and generator maintenance would be unnecessary.
“It’s a matter of time. Like I said earlier, Aliko, an individual, has built 2000 megawatts of power for a cement plant, fertilizer plants and refinery, and a country, since I have been born, only 5,000 megawatts (sic),” he said.
“So it is appalling and disheartening that all the successive governments have failed in this regard.
“But I believe we are now in the stage where the power sector will get a lot of attention and priority. We have new plants — that the government built 8 to 10 years ago — still sitting idly today.”
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According to Otedola, the real problem in the power sector is weak power transmission.
“So any government that thinks well will say let us look for a few entrepreneurs in this sector that have committed so much capital and time and let them sort out the problem,” the businessman said.
“If the government did not invite Aliko to build a cement factory and create an enabling environment, we will still be importing cement today. There are no ports for imported cement today. So, I think we have time. We will get there.”