The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has urged the Federal Government to prioritise the country’s energy needs by implementing policies that would drive efficiency in the sector.
In a statement seen BusinessDay, Ide John Udeagbala, national president, NACCIMA, said the power sector was of keen interest to the private sector as it remains a key factor in driving productivity and profitability.
Unfortunately, it has suffered consistent collapse resulting in the instability of power generation, distribution and supply with the implication being heavy reliance on alternative energy sources.
“The alternative sources of energy represent a significant portion of production costs for the private sector; diesel and Jet A1 fuel have become prohibitively expensive forcing a lot of enterprises to shut down or scale down their operations,” he said.
He specifically noted that the country’s manufacturing sector was faced with a bleak future that threatens its survival and competitiveness in the African market, adding that many manufacturers have either shut down, relocated, or focused on importation.
Udeagbala urged the government to focus on implementing policies that ensure that the country is energy sufficient and become a net exporter of petroleum products and eventually, electricity.
He explained that if urgent action was not taken, it would intensify the uncompetitive nature of the Nigerian private sector and will seal the fate of the country as a dumping ground and a consumption-only economy.
Speaking on infrastructure development, Udeagbala said the pace of infrastructure development was slow in relation to the needs of the economy.
“The Federal Government needs to quickly address the increasing security challenges, poor infrastructure, irregular power supply and the inflation rates which have remained a threat to businesses and investments in the country,” he said.
The national president recommended that an increase in public-private partnerships would accelerate the development of infrastructure and enable the private sector achieve sustainable economic growth.