An energy expert, Engr. Obadial Ezenekwe has called for restructuring of energy supply to enhance diversification of Nigerian economy.
Ezenekwe who made the call in a paper he presented during the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) monthly session held in Port Harcourt at the weekend stated that the current gap between the supply and demand in the energy sector which is estimated at 91,0000 megawatts had impacted negatively on the economic sector.
He stated that the sector reform which took place five years ago which was aimed at fixing the demand gap and to attract private investors to drive the economy had not made any significant impact as about 80 percent of the country’s population is not linked to the National Grid, adding that it is unfortunate that the level of progress in the six geographical zones is not attractive.
The expert further stated that the objective of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (EREP) of the Federal Government as it relates to the power sector includes improving energy efficiency diversification of energy mix through greater case of renewable energy and proposed an alternative source of energy to narrow the huge imbalance between supply and demand in the energy sector as such would enhance economic development.
According to him, the country is currently experiencing huge gaps between electricity demand and supply, stressing that this had impacted heavily on the business environment and even prevented foreign investors’ from participating in the de velopment of the country’s economy.
Ezenekwe noted that other areas affecting the sector include a cute liquidity problems, lack of investor-friendly fiscal and monetary policies like the tariff which is not cost effective, stressing that during the bidding, adequate considerations were not given to the operators of the business unit particularly in the area of technical and financial capabilities.
He lamented that 90 percent of the current management team were politically appointed and by extension major operational decisions along the value chain would be politically influenced and punctuated by ethnic considerations, pointing out that the problem in the power sector could only be solved by Nigerians.