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Epileptic power can deprive Nigeria AfCFTA benefits –Group

Babajide Okeowo

Electricity companies, under the aegis of the Association of the Power Generation Companies has  warned that the poor power supply within the country will deprive Nigeria of the benefit of  African Continental Free Trade Agreement, AfCFTA.

The group said Nigerian companies won’t reap the full potential of the single market “until the problems of the power sector are fully addressed”. They added that products manufactured in the country will not be able to compete against goods produced in other African countries, as the current power supply level has always contributed to the hiking products’ prices.

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“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 realised” the group said.

“For instance, steel mills consume a huge amount of power to convert pig iron blocks to liquefied iron, mixed with ingredients such as carbon, alloys and chemicals to change into a different type of steel, alloy, bars, rods, H-beams, sheet metals, etc. This is even so given that adequate power supply plays a critical role in the development of the social sector, education, health, transportation and industrialisation of a nation. The power firms said, “The impact of the inadequate power supply is multifarious. 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, including the revitalisation of moribund local industries” the group added.