How to eliminate Nigeria’s darkness
Reports indicated that Nigerian industrialist and philanthropist, Tony Elumelu, on Arise News on Wednesday shared his thoughts on a range of issues from Nigeria’s power challenges to how the private sector came together to chat the Covid-19 pandemic
Elumelu, who is Group Chairman of United Bank for Africa UBA, Chairman of Heirs Holdings and founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, also spoke on other wide ranging issues from banking to hospitality and unemployment.
Tony Elumelu emphasized that Nigeria’s electricity transmission lines should be privatised.
The UBA Chairman also called on generating and distributing companies as well as stakeholders in Nigeria’s power sector to agree on a deal with the federal government.
He notes that the transmission sector is so critical to the country’s economy and would be in the interest of Nigerians that it is privatised.
Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) manages the electricity transmission network in the country and is fully owned and operated by the government.
It is one of the 18 companies that was unbundled from the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in April 2004 and is a product of a merger of the transmission and system operations parts of PHCN.
TCN is responsible for evacuating electric power generated by the electricity generating companies (GenCos) and wheeling it to distribution companies (DisCos). It provides the vital transmission infrastructure between the GenCos and the DisCos’ Feeder Sub-stations.
“In the area of the transmission lines, I think that ultimately it should be privatised,” Mr Elumelu said.
“What some of us have advocated is that the gencos and the discos, the entire power stakeholders should come together and have a deal with the federal government, take over the transmission line and it will be in our self interest we make sure that it works.
“If we have the transmission lines and it doesn’t work and you are generating, there will be no way you will evacuate your power. That sector is so critical and pivotal for the survival of our power sector and is critical for improving access to electricity.”
The Group Chairman of UBA stated further that Nigeria needs to do more to fix its ailing power sector to ensure and improve economic prosperity in the country.
Elumelu, an entrepreneur and founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, argued that one complaint that is central to militating the growth of entrepreneurs is power. He stated that his mentees always complain of poor power supply to drive their business initiative, noting that the power sector in Nigeria needs to be privatised and called for 100,000 megawatts of electricity.
“It is in our self-interest to make sure it works. The time is now because we are all suffering this,” Elumelu advised.
In addition, Elumelu stressed that end users must be prepared to pay for service rendered.
This he said would enable operators service their operations and remain in business.