Africa’s wealthiest man Alhaji Aliko Dangote has charged African presidents to fix power supply as one of the major ways to make small businesses grow on the continent.
Dangote who spoke at a forum organised by the African Center for Economic Transformation in Accra, Ghana, pointed out that poor power supply in Africa is the biggest challenge facing SMEs and increases the overhead cost of other businesses.
Dangote, who is building the biggest private refinery in Africa and one of the biggest privately-owned refineries in the world stated that electricity is the life wire of any business.
Poor electricity is a threat to business
Speaking further, “generators are meant to serve as backup to grip” saying reversal is the case whereby businesses run on a 24/7 power supply
“The income generated by businesses eventually go into purchasing fuel to power generators. We must make sure that power is available, if not businesses cannot grow,” Ghanaweb quoted him as saying.
Power supply in Nigeria
In Nigeria, the administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo privatised the power sector with the aim of ensuring efficiency. And the National Electricity Power Authority (NEPA) metamorphosed into the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
NEPA was under the full control of the government before PHCN was birthed. PHCN which was later sold to private companies through bidding has also failed woefully.
Pathetically, most of the offices of the power generating firms run on generators to attend to customers who usually come to their offices to make payment for the electricity bills. The distribution of electricity meters has also been hampered by corruption among the power officials.
The sector has gulped billions of Naira without any result. The move by the Lagos state government to generate its power was thwarted by the administration of Obasanjo.
- By GuardianNG