Nigerians spend about 14 billion on generators and fuel yearly to provide alternative power and further stimulate growth, the Director in charge of Nigeria, African Development Bank (AfDB), Ebrima Faal, has said.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ forum in Abuja, Faal said the issue had a negative impact on the power sector.
Also, AfDB has approved $210 million for the transmission project to improve the supply of electricity in the country, he added.
Speaking with The Nation, on phone at the weekend, the Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr Muda Yusuf, said AfDB is right, considering that private and public sector operators spend a lot of money to provide diesel-powered generators to grow the economy.
Yusuf said: “The costs incurred to provide alternative sources of power are inevitable, if industrialists are to remain in business in Nigeria. This, perhaps, is the biggest single factor impeding the growth of industrialisation. The issue has made our industries very uncompetitive in recent times. That is one of the reasons our industries cannot produce for export unlike their counterparts abroad.
‘’Also, our industries contribute less than 10 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)’’.
According to him, the country is in a pathetic situation as it is unable to fix her power sector 59 years after she got her independence from Britain.
Nigeria, Yusuf said, still depends on imports, stressing that the country is paying a huge price for structural defects, now that the international price of crude oil has fallen.