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Deregulate Power Sector, Don Urges FG

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  • Deregulate Power Sector, Don Urges FG

A Professor of Economics, Sheriffdeen Tella, has called on the Federal Government to deregulate the power sector as opposed to the current privatisation regime in the sector.

He made this call on Wednesday while fielding questions when he featured at The PUNCH Forum held at the PUNCH Place, Magboro, Ogun State.

The don likened the current regime of privatisation as “just putting money in some people’s hands.”

The sector was privatised by the President Goodluck Jonathan administration with 11 electricity distribution companies and six generation companies handed over to core investors on November 1, 2013.

The Transmission Company of Nigeria, which manages the national grid, is still fully owned and operated by the government.

On July 2015, the Federal Government took over Yola Electricity Distribution Company following the exit of the core investor.

Tella advised that by deregulating the power sector just as it did in the telecommunications sector, private investors would be able to generate power and sell to whoever could buy it.

He said, “The government should deregulate the power sector, just like it did with the telecommunications sector. Individuals should be allowed to generate power and distribute to the people and industries. The current privatisation is just like putting money in some people’s hands.”

The don, who is a former Vice-Chancellor of the Crescent University, Abeokuta, equally attributed the slow pace of economic development in the country to a lack of long-term national plan by successive administrations.

The don, who further noted that skewed federalism being operated in the country had denied it economic prosperity and progress, added that though past administrations had come up with one plan or the other, they had not really made any meaningful and enduring impact on the nation and Nigerians.

He said, “We have had governments both military and civilians that came up with different plans viz Vision 2010, Vision 20: 2020, NEEDS (National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy), 7-Point Agenda, and Transformation Agenda, among others. They did not endure and each fizzled out after each administration. What we need is a long-term national plan.

“There is a report that by 2050, Nigeria’s current population will double. What are the plans we are making to address this? I don’t think there is anything on the ground in terms of a national plan.

“We have to have a long- term prospect of the economy. By this, I mean there must be a national plan and a state plan to direct the nation’s economic and political lives.”

He said that a nation that enjoyed economic prosperity must have “an economy where employment opportunities are available, national income and per capita income are rising, inflation is low, goods are available due to growing domestic production, people are taking holiday abroad, social amenities for young and old are of good quality and affordable, and life expectancy is high.”

Listing other barriers to the nation’s growth and economic prosperity, he noted that these included the political structure of the country, insincerity of politicians, and political expediency over economic judgement.

Tella, who is of the Department of Economics, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, said for Nigeria to experience industrial development, it must invest massively in education.

He said, “Massive qualitative education is necessary for economic prosperity. When people are educated they become creative. When one is educated, he knows he has to have a number of children he can cater for.”

Tella, also noted that industries needed a constant power supply to produce optimally.

Tella, who added that the nation’s democracy was maturing, however, called on the media and the elite to act as checks on the excesses of the politicians.

He said, “The elite and the media must insist on accountability, fairness and justice. The elite must get out of their comfort zone and fight for the poor for the benefit of Nigeria.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

Economy

NLNG Boosts Cooking Gas Production to 1.5 Million Metric Tonnes Annually

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cooking gas cylinder

Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) has announced a significant milestone in its operations, boosting its annual production of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), commonly known as cooking gas, to over 1.5 million metric tonnes.

This surge in production underscores NLNG’s commitment to meeting the rising demand for clean cooking energy in Nigeria.

The entirety of NLNG’s 1.5 million tonnes production is now being sold domestically within Nigeria.

Moreover, the company has initiated a landmark shift by starting to supply LPG in naira, moving away from the traditional practice of trading in United States dollars.

This move aligns with calls from stakeholders in the oil and power sectors advocating for naira transactions, especially amidst the challenges posed by currency fluctuations.

During a panel session at the 7th Nigeria International Energy Summit in Abuja, NLNG’s General Manager of Finance, Fatima Adanan, highlighted the company’s dedication to enhancing LPG penetration across the country.

Adanan emphasized NLNG’s vision to make Nigeria a better place by promoting the use of cleaner energy sources like gas.

While NLNG’s production surge is commendable, Adanan acknowledged that Nigeria’s LPG requirements surpass the current output, necessitating imports to bridge the gap.

However, NLNG remains committed to expanding its production capacity to meet the nation’s energy needs and drive increased adoption of LPG as a cleaner cooking fuel.

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Economy

CBN Raises Benchmark Interest Rate by 400 Basis Points to 22.75%

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Dr. Olayemi Michael Cardoso

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has raised the benchmark interest rate by 400 basis points to a record 22.75%.

The decision made by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) comes amidst rising inflationary pressures and growing uncertainty in Africa’s largest economy.

Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 29.90% in January 2024, the highest in over two decades while the nation’s unemployment rate quickened to 5% in the third quarter of 2023. Suggesting that the rising costs have continued to drag on both new job creation and the existing ones.

This coupled with a series of policy adjustments implemented by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has plunged economic productivity and eroded consumer spending as citizens grapple with high fuel prices, electricity tariffs, a record-high foreign exchange rate, and insecurities.

Therefore, it is surprising that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) led by the CBN will further increase borrowing costs by 400 basis points at a time when job creation is paramount.

While the economy reportedly grew by 3.46% in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023 on the back of robust performance of the services sector, this growth is yet to crystalise as businesses and citizens have taken to the street protest against the harsh economic situation.

Economic experts have started questioning the data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) given its lack of correlation between the data and economic reality.

 

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Economy

President Tinubu Unveils Geometric Power Plant in Aba After 20-Year Wait

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Geometric Power Plant

After two decades of anticipation, President Bola Tinubu, through his representative Vice President Kashim Shettima, inaugurated the long-awaited Geometric Power Plant in Aba, a significant milestone in the city’s quest for reliable electricity supply.

The event, which also saw the commissioning of three rehabilitated roads by Abia State Governor Alex Otti, symbolizes the culmination of years of perseverance and determination to transform Aba’s power landscape.

Addressing the audience, Vice President Shettima hailed the project as a testament to the power of visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to progress.

He said the Geometric Power Plant exemplifies the transformative impact of strategic infrastructure investments on local communities.

Governor Otti echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing the importance of the power project in positioning Aba as a hub for national and international business ventures.

He commended the efforts of Geometric Power Limited while urging them to uphold transparency and avoid exploiting consumers.

The inauguration of the Geometric Power Plant comes amidst growing concerns over Nigeria’s power infrastructure and the need for sustainable solutions to address electricity shortages.

The project, with a capacity of 188MW, holds promise for significant improvements in power supply across Abia State, benefitting nine out of seventeen local government areas.

The Managing Director of Geometric Power Limited, Ben Caven, underscored the scale of investment involved, totaling $800 million.

He highlighted the comprehensive nature of the project, which includes the installation of new power substations and a 27km natural gas pipeline, signaling a comprehensive approach to enhancing Aba’s energy infrastructure.

In conclusion, the inauguration of the Geometric Power Plant represents a transformative moment for Aba, offering renewed hope for economic growth and prosperity powered by reliable electricity supply.

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