President Bola Tinubu has emphasized the importance of addressing Nigeria’s electricity crisis in order to tackle poverty in the country, expressing his administration’s commitment to banishing poverty by ensuring uninterrupted power supply across Nigeria.
President Tinubu made this remark on Sunday, on the theme: “Getting it Right: Charting the Course for Nigeria’s Nation-Building,” during the ongoing 63rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Abuja.
According to him, yes, it is a shame not to have adequate electricity for the majority of homes in Nigeria and to power our industries.
He asked, “How can we address poverty without electricity? We can take many people out of poverty with an uninterrupted electricity supply.
“Poverty is not acceptable, and we must banish it,” the President remarked.
The President further emphasised that tough decisions must be made to set the country on a growth trajectory, despite the initial pains that meaningful reforms usually bring.
Tinubu therefore assured participants at the conference that his government would ensure that Nigeria generates and distributes the electricity the economy requires to thrive.
Corroborating the earlier statement earlier made by Mr. Tony Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holdings, on the agenda setting for the power sector, Tinubu bemoaned the inability of Nigeria to tackle poor electricity supply, despite Nigeria’s abundance of gas.
“We cannot have the country we desire without the reforms we have initiated. It is painful at the beginning, in the short and medium term, but we must do what we have to do to take this nation to its great destiny.
“It is not about you, and it is not about me. It is about our generations yet unborn, for whom we must bequeath a great and prosperous country,” Tinubu noted.
Earlier in his keynote address, Elumelu who doubles as the Chairman of Transcorp Power said that lack of adequate gas supply is affecting power plants from generating enough power supply across the country.
He said, “Is it not ironic that a country with abundant gas resources cannot optimally operate its power plants due to lack of gas.
“For instance, the TransAfam Power Plant that belongs to Transcorp Group has an installed capacity of 1000 megawatts.
“The government made a significant investment to acquire 240 megawatts of fast power turbines from General Electric(GE). For context, 240 megawatts of electricity can power about one million homes in Nigeria.
“Yet GE has threatened to pull out of the project, because our nation – with some of the largest gas reserves globally, could not provide 65 million standard cubic feet of gas daily (MMscfpd) which is needed for the comprehensive testing of the installed fast power plant,” he lamented.
Elumelu therefore stated that Nigeria has idle gas fields despite the availability of private capital that can be invested in gas production.
He attributed this to regulatory constraints and self-serving policies that hinder investments, calling on the private sector players in the country to see themselves as the engine of innovation, source of investment, and creators of jobs.