INEFFICIENT POWER SECTOR BANE OF PRIVATE INVESTMENT, NATIONAL DEVT
BY PROVIDENCE OBUH
Poor performances of the power sector has been a significant barrier to private investment and to the overall development and economic growth of this nation, says Comrade Wakili Tijani, Deputy President/Chairman, Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) Research and Projects Trade Group Council.
Tijani made this statement , while x-raying the challenges in almost all the sectors of the economy during the NASU Research and Projects Trade Group Council Meeting hosted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) Lagos Chapter.
According to him, 'It has been on record; Nigeria has one of the most problematic electricity sectors in the world, with an estimated installed capacity of 8644 mega watts (MW) and available capacity of only 3200 MW, to cater for the needs of the entire population.'
He pointed out that recently, the Minister of power, Prof. Barth. Nnaji ordered an investigation into the causes of continuous epileptic power supply, especially after his announcement that Kainji power supply plant which was earlier shut down to avoid its total collapse has begun operation.
Continuing, he said, 'on the overall, no Nigerian can boast of four hours electricity supply per day. Nigerians expect improvement in supply, but rather, supply continues to deteriorate making Nigerians to sleep in perpetual darkness.'
Speaking on Rail transport system, he noted that there is need to revive the railway transport in the country, as this will further generate jobs, ease the burden on Nigeria's bad roads and save live that are unduly terminated daily by these bad roads
'Nigeria, in those good old days, used to take pride in the railway network, the largest on the continent at independence. However, the Nigerian railways have been comatose in the last three decades. Years of neglect and lack of investments have severely hampered the capacity of the rail network to act as a mass transit vehicle.
'Therefore promoting rail transport means promoting employment opportunities for our army of unemployed youths. State governments should in turn develop their own light rail system within and outside their states.'
In his address, NASU ICAN Branch Chairman, Com. Wole Bodunde lamented that there are reports of billions of naira spent on improving food in a country where grass can grow out of cracks in a concrete floor, stating that trillions of naira are spent on refined crude imports and allied products that can be available if the crude is processed here.
Bodunde said 'The monies spent on all these imported items, keep the factories in those countries open and their youths well employed, while we shut our own here and youths remain jobless.
'Corruption has remained the bane of the society, N56 billion Federal Pension embezzled, N25 million fraud, judges absence stalls trial, Reps asked for N39 million bribe, House sacks panel, DG approved N30 million donation to reps- memo on approval stolen from us at night, SEC DG spent N30 million on hotels in eight months, EU gives FG N20 billion to fight corruption, no one has been convicted of the crime,' he lamented.