Poor Power Supply, Our Greatest Challenge –MAN

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The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) says for any meangingful growth to be achieved in the manufacturing sector of the country, the current challenges in energy and other infrastructural deficits must be properly addressed.
The Apapa Chapter chairman of MAN, Mr Babatunde Odunayo, stated this at a business luncheon organised by the association in Lagos, on Thurday.
Odunayo, who lamented that the situation of poor power supply has forced chunk of indigenous Nigerian businesses into retailing as against manufacturing and called on the government to be committed to investment in power generation and supply to help the situation.
He explained that the hicupps in the sector and high cost of production occasioned by high cost of providing alternative energy has negatively affected the profitability of manufacaturing operations as well as competiveness of their products in the country.
“It is a well-establihed fact that of the gamut of challenges besetting manufacturing operations in our country, power supply constitutes the greatest,” he stated, adding that alternative energy supply accounts for between 30 and 40 per cent of production overheads.
Odunayo said despite Nigeria’s position as the largest country in Africa, accounting for almost 15 per cent of the continent’s population, Nigeria has the lowest per capital energy consumption of 40Kw/000 inhabitants when placed side by side with South Africa’s 270Kw/000 inhabitants and Idonesia’s 120Kw/000.
He expressed dismay over the transformation agenda of the immediate past federal government, saying it planned to achieve 12 Gigawatts by 2016, but failed to actualise the projections such that Nigeria still struggles with a paltry four Gigawatts.
“Unfortuantely, in an era where the country is financially crippled, so much investment is yet to be made in the transformation as regards the power sector. A lot of money is required and if investment is not made, you cannot expect magic to happen,” he said, regretting that the nation has the right transformation agenda, but that the financial capability to invest and expand capacity remains something that is eluding her.
In his own submission, the Deputy Managing Director of Eko Distribution Company Plc, Mr Ramesh Narayanan listed factors constrain in the supply chain at the level of power generation, transmission and distribution.
According to him, such factors include inefficient and outdated technology and dearth of national grd; and called for substantial investment and upgrade of facilities in the power sector, adding that plants with improved generation capacity should be situated in proximity to power sources such as pipelines to reduce cost of operation and enhance efficiency.