The inadequate power supply situation in Nigeria has been identified as a major challenge facing many businesses in the country. According to Ayoola Olukanni, the Director-General of the National Association of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture, majority of the businesses in Nigeria spend N5 trillion annually to generate their own electricity.
“We spend about $14 billion annually on generators, maintenance and fueling in other to keep our business afloat.”
The economic effect: Olukanni further stated that these expenses are a huge drain on the economy and may have resulted in the dwindling fortunes of most businesses.
“Generally, the business environment in the country in the past 12 months was certainly not palatable, but things can be better. We have not gotten to where we are supposed to be, though we are heading towards where we can just say that things can be better. We need to look at an alternative source of power, such as cost of purchase, maintenance, and fueling of generating sets in the country for the purpose of electricity both for manufacturing and general consumption.”
The government should worry: Olukanni urged the Federal Government to work on the power situation in the country as the cost expended on power generation by businesses has become unbearable.
“If such amount is being dedicated to boosting business in the country and if the government gets the power situation right, then businesses would boom and we will become more competitive, especially now that we have signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfTA).
“Common knowledge shows that the cost of power generation by individuals is outrageous. If you look at the number of generators owned by business outfits in the country, you will understand why most businesses are closing shop. Regrettably, the worst hit is the MSMEs. This problem is experienced in the respective sectors where they operate.
“The heart of the issue still remains the question of the power sector. Things have gone from bad to worse, so business owners still have to rely on providing their own power to do business. This is not a good way to absolutely grow an economy, we have to find a way to sort this problem out and I sincerely hope that as part of the initiative for the current administration of Mr. President would be to address the power outage in other to enhance the competitiveness of the Nigerian businessman. Again, the question of the pursuit of the perfect will to execute top priorities like power is necessary, because business cannot thrive with the present power situation.”