Electricity Generation: Shame Of A Nation; Dangote And Other Top Private Sector Players Set To Rescue Nigeria’s Struggling Economy.

 By Lateef Adegbite

 President Bola Ahmed Tinubu,  a –one –time governor of Lagos state, appears to have known that Nigerians are no  longer happy with his Administration over the  4.5 gigawatts, GW,  of electricity  generation in the country despite promises of Adebayo Adelabu , minister of Power  to  increase grid electricity  generation  to be delivered  to homes and  businesses  to 6 GW, target in six months which had passed.

The minister initially had his reason to believe that this will happen.  This is because of ‘’the series of infrastructural upgrades’’, that was said to have been been embarked upon by the Tinubu’s Administration   in the last one year. The minister had pointed at ‘’the Presidential Power Initiative   Programmes’’ with a mandate ‘’ to ensure the improvement of power assets in Nigeria’’ which is still ongoing.

The Nigerian President who is not happy that the sorry situation in the nation’s power sector may have sent a message to the minister to sit up, insisting that ‘’there is need for energy security in Nigeria to stailize the economy’’.

Adelabu: minister Of Power

Perhaps, not to give room to the minister of Power to further give excuses why the electricity generation companies are not doing well in contributing meaningfully to national grid generation may have informed why the former Lagos state governor had said the Federal government will do everything within its powers ‘’to improve the country’s gas supplies to the power generation Companies’’. 

However, he was emphatic that in the next few months the government will stabilize the economy through ‘’the removal all entry barriers to investment in the country’s energy sector while balancing competitiveness’’ had that it is prepared to push the country’s oil production level to 2mbd between now and June 2025.

Energy experts believe that if this can be achieved in the next six months, which Aliko Dangote ,a Multi-billionaire  business mogul and President Dangote  Industries, who incidentally is the  Chairman of the Presidential  Economic Coordination  Council, PECC, had agreed with the government  that’’ it will increase the country’s electricity  generation  and distribution to homes and businesses’’  throughout the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.  

An aggrieved  President Tinubu, had described as ‘’shameful  that Nigeria  is still generating 4.5 GW, of electricity , which analysts had said is nothing compared to  the 59.5 GW,   produced in  the North African country of Egypt or 39 GW, produced  in South Africa , the two African countries that are believed to have solved   their current  electricity supply need  to homes and businesses.

National grid

The Nigerian President, who is in a hurry to deliver on his 2023, electioneering Campaign promises of reviving the nation’s struggling economy inherited from former President Muhammau Buhari, may have set  a N2 trillion  economic stabilization  plan to bring Nigeria into the class of Egypt and South Africa   in terms of grid electricity in less than   three years to the end of his first term  in office.  Atiku Abubakar, a former governor of Kebbi state and now minister of Budget and Economic Planning,   had confirmed that the Nigerian government had signed a Samoa agreement with the European, EU, which was said to have been signed on June 28, 2024 ,’’to boost the country’s food security and  inclusive economic development’’, amongst  other vital area of the economy, including power generation.

 Unconfirmed report had put the amount involved in the Samoa agreement  to US,$150 million but the minister would not take to it, stressing that ‘’there was no where  in the body of the document signed to show that  there was US, $150 million indicated.  The former Kebbi state governor had said that the Samoa agreement like other deals with other creditor nations ‘’ define what we want to relate with those countries, involved in the deal and to go about it’’.

Perhaps, to ensure that the current Tinubu’s Administration achieves its economic blueprint within a specified period   may have informed why the President has called for the collaboration of the PECC, members, comprising of some   top players   in the nation’s private sector  like Tony Elumelu, Chairman, United Bank for Africa, UBA, plc,  Abdulsamad Rabiu, Chief Executive Officer, CEO, BUA  Group, Amina Maina, Begun Ajayi Kadir,  Mrs. Funke Okpeke, Doyin Salami Patrick Okigbo, and Kola Adesina.

Others include Segun Agbaje, Chidi Ajaere,  Abdulkadir Aliu,  Rasheed Sarumi , Bismark Rewane, CEO, of the Financial Derivatives  Company and  Suleyman Ndanuasa, an Economist. The President was said to have also appointed 13 ministers into the team including Wale Edun, minister of Finance and coordinating minister of the Economy.

  This is in addition to the appointment of Olayemi Michael Cardoso,governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN,  and Ola Olukoyede, Chairman , Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, into the economic  Think-Than team have also made the list which many believe will help  ‘’ to increase  the country’s  on-grid  electricity capacity’’ that will push the nation’s economy to the next level of prosperity.

The minister of Finance and Coordinating minister of the Economy, may have gladdened the heart of Nigerians who are desperate to see a positive change in the economy when he disclosed that ’’the Council is to meet and report to the President monthly’’. 

Dangote: President ,Dangote Industries and Chairman, PECC

Dangote, who had single-handedly established, the US,  $19 billion,  650,000bpd, refinery, at the Lekki Free Trade one, in Lagos, the nation’s Commercial nerve centre, has given assurance that with the caliber of people appointed the President to make PECC, list, with special reference to Elumelu and Rewane, described as asset to he team,  , the Nigeria’s economy is on the road to full recovery.

TheCouncil will advise the government on policies that would be rolled out to reshape the economy, Dangote had said.The President, Dangote Industries and Chairman of the newly inaugurated PECC, had revealed that members have been tasked b the  President  with ‘’strategizing on a way   out  of the country’s   sorry economic situation’’.

 He may hit the nail on the head when he declared that ‘’the Private sector will do its bit which is to invest heavily on the economy and create more jobs’’. He noted that since the government does not create jobs, it has no option but’’ to give the investors both Local and foreign ‘’the right policies to do their business and make profit’’.

This may have informed why the PECC, Chairman, could beat his chest that within the next few months andwith the right Fiscal and Monetary policies, members, will work hard’’ to make Nigerians proud’’.

At present the country is battling inflation, which as April, 2024, was 33.95%, as reported by the Nigerian Bureau of Statics, NBS, headed by Semiu Adenira high cost of living and other economic crises orchestrated by the immediate past Buhari’s Administrations and the current Administration’s ill -advised twin policies of fuel subsidy removal and unification of the Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market, AFEM and the Parallel, popular, Black Market foreign exchange windows.

Until the inauguration of the Dangote led PECC, byPresident Tinubu, on Thursday, July 6, 2024, Dangote, who could not hide his feelings had taken the CBN, to the cleaners over the   increment of the country’s interest rate to 30%. The Kano state born business mogul had stated clearly that businesses would not operate profitable with the current high interest rate.

Appealing to the Nigerian government ‘’to protect existing businesses operating in the country’’, particular, the Manufacturers, by providing ‘’the enabling environment for them to thrive’’, he noted that ‘’an import –dependence economy is equivalent to poverty importation’’.  

He may have sent a message to the government that going by the current challenges faced by the Manufacturers, ranging from ‘’no power and frequent breakdown of the national grid, no prosperity, no affordable financing of businesses, no growth  to no infratructural development,  increasing the  country’s interest rate to 30% was uncalled for as it may further kill existing businesses, across the country.There is  no gain say saying the fact that the CBN, 30% interest  rate increment  may be  the first Monetary policy that will be recommended to the President by the PECC, to be scrapped.

The Leadership of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, may have shocked Nigerians with their report which had confirmed that over 70 manufacturers had exited the sector between 2019 and 2022, because of the harsh economic policies of the previous Buhari’s Administration which had made Nigeria an import dependent nation.

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