P/Harcourt Chamber woos investors to power sector

Investors are to be shown investment opportunities that abound in the power sector in Rivers State, so said Mike Elechi, the president of the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA).

The opportunities are to be unveiled at an upcoming conference known as Power-to-Power in August 2022 in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

Elechi, a leader of the organised private sector (OPS) in Rivers State, told newsmen on Friday, July 8, 2022, that the aim was to woo investments into the various options of the power supply value chain, including the introduction of modular power plants as a means of providing adequate, affordable and sustainable power supply thereby solving the power problem in the state.

The former permanent secretary in the ex-Governor Peter Odili’s administration disclosed that PHCCIMA, in partnership with Dorisdesmond Nigeria Limited (DDN), was organising the 3rd edition of the power-to-power summit, Africa’s premier sustainable energy platform to educate, dialogue and exchange ideas on energy efficiency, innovation and technology, renewable energy and other emerging issues affecting energy consumers.

“This year’s edition of the summit will gather Nigeria’s energy and petroleum sector leaders to define solutions and propel the industries through innovative thought leadership to industry excellence.”

He said the focus would be on exploiting business opportunities in the power industry.

The OPS leader identified some of the key challenges facing the power sector as inadequate power generation capacity and distribution, ineffective legislation, poor collection rates, higher diesel price, inadequate transmission, and distribution infrastructure.

As a result of the inadequate power supply, he said, the majority of households and businesses in Rivers State rely on expensive self-generated electricity. “As a result, Nigerians have resorted to powering themselves at various levels, some are using kerosene, lanterns, candlesticks, with a majority still in darkness.”

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He said this year’s strategic agenda of the power event would feature high-impact plenary presentations, cutting-edge discussions, one-on-one meetings and convivial networking sessions.

“It is aimed at proffering solutions to these challenges and also accentuates the state government’s commitment in collaborating with the private sector to tackling the state’s power problems with a view to providing adequate power supply in realising the vigorously pursued state urban renewal programme, light for all citizens project and promoting higher productivity in the state.”

Elechi regretted the deplorable power supply situation in River State, saying Port Harcourt needs it most. “It is no longer good to wait, hence the decision to invite the private sector to pool resources together and invest in power so as to solve the problem”.

He said it was easier to generate alternative power with gas and solve local problems and send the rest to the national grid.

In his intervention, an expert and chairman of the PHCCIMA power sector trade group, an engineer, Tony Nwogbo, said the new law which is almost ready for assent has given backing to the private sector to generate power, thus removing the grip on power in the 1999 constitution that puts it in the exclusive list.

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