Nigerian business community spends 40% budget cost on alternative power supply
The business community in Nigeria is said to have been spending about 40% budget cost between 2015 and 2016 to source alternative power, as a result of epileptic power supply in the country.
According to the CEOs of private firms, who volunteered comments on the issue, the situation has gone worse in the past six months, when more cases of loss of power source have seen the country with about 170 million people, managing about 3.5 megawatts of electricity, from the normal 4.5 me.
Officials of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing said they are aware that there has been a sharp drop in electricity supply shortfall, due to what they said was unresolved issues among the three arms that the power sector has been shared: the Gencos, Discos and TCN.
But to the firms that produce portable generators, this means a good market for them.
The cost of running alternative source of electricity in June 2012 when former Minster of Power, Bath Nnaji , pushed his expertise through the system , which saw an impressive increase in power output that last for six months .
But the worst period was 2015 when there was a near-total collapse of power supply due to industrial actions by disengaged staff of now defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
“I am yet to find a country with similar scenario with Nigeria, in terms of losses that businesses and families run to remain alive. Whereas the irony is that all the main sources of power generation are in abundant here.
“This country is endowed with all it take to have constant power; it has natural gas, coal, and wind and solar, while the only one not within its purview is the nuclear energy, of course Nigeria can still harness, if the political will is there, ” said Solar Durojaiye, an engineer.
A CEO on condition of anonymity put it this way : ”We have been trying hard to convince our foreign partners that the company usually sets aside at least 30 to 40 per cent of its yearly budget in acquiring and maintaining infrastructure base in Nigeria, especially power, which they find difficult to understand.
“For instance, the expansion of our company to Abuja and Port Harcourt has been hindered by some logistics challenges, bordering mainly on how to run our system with generators, which are not being used as standby, but as the main source of power.
But the Minster of Power and, Works Housing , Mr.Babatunde Fashola, has reportedly read a riot act to the operators.
Speaking through one of his aides, summarized it thus: “The (electricity) operators seem to have been taking a lot of things for granted and government will soon come up with a stringent measure that could see the unserious ones shape in or shape out of the system, for things cannot be allowed to be deteriorating like this.
“It is not only the business community that is feeling the pinch, but also homes and the government. Just watch out and see what will happen soon.”