Africa’s spending against insurgency excessive, funding power more critical – IBEDC COO

Solomon Ezeme
The Chief Operating Officer of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), Tuesday, has called on Africa to prioritize development of its power sector over combating insurgency by redirecting some of the money earmarked for procurement of ammunition to power projects which, according to him, is more beneficial to the region.
Engr. John Ayodele, who spoke during a panel session at the ongoing Power and Water Exhibition & Conference organized by Vertex NEXT, held in Lagos, noted that stocking Africa’s armory with more weapons to fight insurgency is not as critical as addressing the energy needs of the continent.
He explained that improved electricity supply to Nigerians and their African neighbours would enhance the standard of living of the people and subsequently help to address the menace of insurgency in the region.
“African nations should devote parts of the money used for ammunition on electricity, such a move will have direct improvement in the standard of living in the continent,” he said.
The IBEDC COO also noted during the 3-day event themed: “Digitalization, Sustainability and Optimization”, that there is currently a need for stakeholders to seek solutions, engage in technical discussions and carry out on-the-spot assessment of opportunities available to improve electricity generation and distribution across Africa.
“For Africa to be self-sufficient we must integrate ourselves and be willing to do the needful,” he said.
Ayodele added that development has continued to be hampered in the African energy and power industry because the region has failed to keep “accurate data for energy demand.”

Recently, the West African Power Pool rolled out a campaign to integrate electricity distribution across the subcontinent with provisions to implement a common tariff within the subcontinent, but this is yet to gain full traction.