The Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC) says Nigeria may not reap the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as a result of poor electricity supply.
In a statement, Joy Ogaji, executive secretary of APGC, umbrella body of generation companies (GenCos), said adequate power supply is critical in the nation’s quest for economic growth and industrialisation.
On Sunday, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the AFCFTA, which aims to create a single market followed by free movement and a single-currency union.
The electricity producers said Nigeria’s potential to become one of the world’s largest economies will remain just an aspiration without the electricity required to pursue aggressive industrialisation.
“The critical role of power as a veritable physical infrastructural tool for economic growth, industrialisation and development cannot be over-emphasized,” she said.
“The availability of adequate power supply is directly proportional to the associated extensive technology based development in the production and manufacturing sector. Steady and regular power supply is needed for different types of industries, where goods, appliances, tools, instruments, machines, modern communication equipment and gadgets, vehicles, aircrafts, ships are manufactured.
“In direct relation to the just signed AfCFTA agreement, the benefits it poses to Nigeria may not be fully reaped until the problems of the power sector are fully addressed. Goods and services offered by the country may not be comparatively/competitively priced, when compared to other nations with better power supply. Thus, the cumulative result of a significant boost in trade and therefore the economy, may not be realized.
“The recently appended trade agreement calls for a renewed zeal and focus in solving the power sector conundrum, so as to position Nigeria amongst leading industrializing countries to feed and satisfy the ever increasing demands for power in many industries and factories in the country.
“This singular solution to power issue will make consumer goods, machineries, equipment and tools flood the African/global consumer markets. It will also bring about increased employment and empowerment of the youth which category from statistics, forms a greater proportion of the population.”