Nigeria does not have the energy to implement its industrialisation goals, a development which has slowed down its economic growth, the World Bank has said
The bank, in its report titled: Inadequate energy supplies and its implications on African economy, said electricity shortage has hindered Nigeria from meeting many of the goals outlined in its economic recovery plans.
The report, dated 2017, listed the goals to include creation of employment opportunities for the skilled and unskilled workforce, increasing manpower among industrial workers, provision of healthcare facilities, building of schools, among others.
It added that the Federal Government has not been able to meet these goals due to irregular supply of electricity in Nigeria.
In a speech delivered at the 15th edition of Future Energy Nigeria Conference in Eko Le’ Meriden Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, Rosatom Corporation’s Southern and Central Africa CEO, Mr Dmitry Shornikov, said bank has given a firm verdict on the Nigerian power situation, urging Nigerian and Russian government to speed up the process of generating nuclear energy for growth.
He regretted that Russia and Nigeria have not been able to reach a consensus on the number of electricity megawatts(Mw) that would be generated for the over 170million Nigerian population, despite holding several discussions on how to provide nuclear for growth in Nigeria.
Citing the report, Shornikov said absence of sustainable and affordable energy has made it difficult for Nigeria and other African countries to implement their strategic industrialisation goals.
He said the issue contradicts the beliefs held by policy makers in Africa, that Nigeria is witnessing growth in the rates of unemployment and infrastructurce activities in urban centres, among others, in Nigeria.
He said irregular supply of electricity remains the major obstacle to businesses in Nigeria, adding that the issue is inhibiting the growth of more than half of the big firms in the country.
He said 70 per cent of the bigger firms operating in Nigeria, on the average experience 44 electrical outages in a month, coupled with the fact that the issue has resulted in loss of annual revenue, and reduction in direct exports of many firms in Africa.
He said the development informed the decision by Rosatom to partner Nigeria on the issue of producing nuclear energy in the country.
He said inability of Russia and Nigeria to reach a consensus on the volume of electricity that would be generated through nuclear technology, hinders the implementation of the deal struck between the two nations on the use of nuclear energy.
He noted that Rosatom signed the deal on behalf of the Russian government, while the Federal Minstry of Power stood in for Nigerian government. He said Russia and Nigeria have been holding discussions on the need to generate nuclear energy for Nigerians for sometime, adding that the two countries were expecting the discussion to be fruitful.
Shornikov said: “Negotiations for the establishment of nuclear technology centre and nuclear energy plants are on-going. Though the negotiations on the issue have reached an advanced stage. However, there are inherent problems in the frameworks guiding the establishment of the nuclear power plants and the technology center. Until these problems are resolved, it is not certain that Rosatom can decide on the power megawatts that would be produced for Nigerian populace.”
Still on nuclear power, Shornikov said nuclear energy is the most regulated and safest sub-sector in the electricity industry globally, stressing that misconceptions on what nuclear energy and how to put it to better usage have held many people down, as well making it difficult for them to embrace the idea of nuclear energy for economic growth.
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