• Friday, July 19, 2024
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Steps to solving power supply crisis outlined as investors gather in Port Harcourt

Steps to solving power supply crisis outlined as investors gather in Port Harcourt

Business leaders in the South-South have outlined steps to be examined at a power summit in Port Harcourt to tackle energy inadequacy. The experts said such solutions must create investment opportunities for the private sector.

This is as experts said Africa requires almost $3 trillion to meet its energy requirements by 2050.

Mike Elechi, president of the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA), said in his opening speech that experts must examine existing energy technologies that can be modified and made more user-friendly, for local application and maintenance.

He also charged investors to look at local manufacturing or assembly of relevant energy appliances and tools as a business. They should look at “Exploration of alternative sources of power that are environmentally friendly and have a significantly reduced carbon footprint.

“Possible small and medium scale energy solutions that can be embedded to provide uninterrupted power, to a circumscribed community; this is also being done as a business venture.”

Elechi urged experts to develop regulatory guidelines for government to consider, allowing room for more private investment in the power and overall consumer energy sector.

“Consequently, I hereby call upon government at the state and federal level to consider legislation and guidelines which allow for more entry in to the energy supply sector.

“Also to improve the enabling operational environment that will encourage aggregation of existing players, to provide power to businesses and communities.

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“Finally, it goes without saying that our economy will benefit tremendously from power improvement and growth.”

The chairman/CEO, GGI Group Ltd, Innocent Akuvue, in his remarks, said there was need to tackle power problem because it has become a talked about problem holding down development.

The president of the National Associations of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), John Udeagbala, who commended the PHCCIMA president for sustaining the tempo for which PHCCIMA is known, said alternative and renewable energy is urgently needed to help businesses in the interim.

He said NACCIMA is strongly committed to solving power problems as pressure group and leader of the organized private sector.

In his goodwill message, the Rwandan High Commissioner in Nigeria, Stanislas Kamanzi, expressed excitement over the summit, said power is needed to support production and economic growth. “I know what power means to Nigerians, having stayed here for some time.”

Thanking Port Harcourt for great hospitality, he said he expected partnerships and friendship from the visit and interactions so far.

Governor Nyesom Wike was represented by his deputy, Ipalibo Gogo Harry who in turn was represented by Lawson Ikuru, permanent secretary, Ministry of Power.

The permanent secretary said there was high corruption in power sector management over the years and urged the summit to proffer solutions that can re-jig the system.

A technical paper delivered by a fellow of the society of engineers, Emeka Okwuosa, who was represented by Chuka Emeka, said Africa needs almost $3 trillion to meet its energy needs by 2050. He said this would create 5 million jobs.

He described gas as a transition energy needed to stop cooking with firewood that leads to deforestation.

He said West African countries are lagging behind in solar energy development but said solar energy is a huge potential in solving energy problems; and it should be exploited faster.

He warned that 2040, oil will come down from 40 to four per cent in utility, but that bio-energy which is popular would lead to more deforestation, pollution, etc.