Having identified lack of stable power supply as the major cause of the dwindling volume of manufacturing enterprises in the country, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) on Wednesday urged the government to pay more attention to the situation of power supply in the country.
Adedoyin Idowu Owolabi, 48th president, ICAN, who spoke during a courtesy visit to Flour Mills Nigeria Plc, indicated that the several challenges bedeviling the real sector of the economy have led to the exit of some companies.
He added that many of the industrial areas in the country have become shadows of their old selves, no thanks to the sorry state of electricity, a major aspect of production.
He said, “In the past 15 to 20 years, we have paid lip service to the issue of power in the country. Though money was budgeted for power in the past, no significant result has been seen.”
Continuing, he said, “A situation where generators that are meant to be alternative source of electricity have become the main source of power is not good for a country like ours. There is need to provide adequate power in the country. If basic infrastructure such as power, roads and security that are supposed to be provided by government are being put in place by companies, it means the cost will be passed to the consumers.”
Owolabi stated that a lot of attention should be placed on improving the power sector to revive the nation’s manufacturing sector from its near-moribund state. “I am using this opportunity to call on the government to begin to pay enough attention to the power sector. They have not done enough.”
He explained that resolving the power crisis would boost manufacturing in the country, which would reduce the high rate of unemployment and social vices as more jobs would be created for the teeming unemployed youths.
On his part, Paul Gbedebo, new group managing director, Flour Mills Nigeria, said the issue of power was critical to manufacturing. He noted that the company’s business in Apapa was being driven by the 25 megawatts (MW) of electricity being generated by the company.
He said, “We have 12 gas generators, six diesel-powered generators which we use to meet our electricity needs. So, you can see the need for the power sector to work effectively. We are confident that power will improve as the government is working to achieve the 10,000 megawatts target.”