Address energy deficit issues, MAN, others tell govt
Stakeholders in the power and manufacturing sectors have advocated sustained efforts in addressing the lingering power supply challenges to boost manufacturing activities in the country.
Indeed, members of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) noted that poor infrastructure remains the biggest problem of manufacturers, maintaining that the nation’s energy industry has not been efficient in meeting the needs of consumers and the real sector.
To address the gap, MAN urged the Federal Government to provide a strong financial enabling environment to boost power supply in the country, noting that there is need for increased investment to help the power sector increase its capacity at the distribution level to the nation.
MAN President, Dr. Frank Jacobs, explained that power supply is key to the manufacturing sector and sine-qua-non for the overall development of the economy.
Jacobs who was represented by the Vice President, MAN, Lagos Zone,Isaac Agoye at a business luncheon organised by the MAN Apapa branch, added that the luncheon was organised to identify and address the challenges facing the power sector especially in an era when the country has huge unmet financially needs.
He explained that power constitutes between 30 to 40 per cent of manufacturing cost structure, adding that the emergence of a new administration has ushered in an opportunity to bring in fresh ideas into the power supply equation.
“Already, we are setting up a committee comprised of representatives of NERC and MAN to work out and recommend modalities for mainstreaming the micro-grid and embedded power generation into the electric supply and the power structure. This is aimed at removing the impediments that currently hinder the infusion of this viable segment into the constellation of electricity supply sources,” he said.
“So much investment is yet to be made in the transmission sector and in the gas to power sector. Nigeria needs a financial enabling environment to boost the power sector to increase the capacity at the distribution level. A lot of investments are required and if they are not made, we cannot expect magic to happen,” he said.
He added that the sector is on the right track, but stated that the growth is not moving fast enough due to the lack of financial capability to invest and expand the sector’s capacity.
“The road map is clear but the financial capability to invest and expand our capacity is what is lacking. We have hope because we see a road map it is just that we are crawling rather than jogging,” he stressed.
Also, the Chairman, MAN Apapa Branch, Babatunde Odunayo, while speaking on the theme, “Power supply to the manufacturing sector under a new political dispensation-which way forward” noted that inadequate infrastructure remains the biggest problem facing manufacturers, maintaining that the Nigerian energy industry has clearly not been efficient in meeting the needs of consumers.
“The irregular energy service being provided and its rising high cost have weakened the manufacturing sector over the years. This weakening, among other factors has come from the heavy investment in use of expensive diesel as fuel, investment in own-generators, full complement of spare parts and maintenance of generators. This high cost of production of alternative source of energy has negatively affected the profitability of manufacturing operations and the competitiveness of our locally produced goods,” he said.