The Director-General of the National Association of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Ambassador Ayoola Olukanni has said that the over N5trillion spent annually by major businesses in the country to provide power is a big drain on resources.
Speaking with The Daily Times in Lagos on Monday, the NACCIMA boss explained the negative effects of this menace on his members and the economy at large.
According to him, the huge sum is majorly expended on generators, maintenance and fuelling by private businesses.
“We spend about $14 billion annually on generators, maintenance and fuelling in other to keep our business afloat.”
Such humongous cost, he added, is a big drain on resources and maybe responsible for the dwindling fortunes of most businesses.
“Generally, the business environment in the country in the past 12 months was certainly not palatable, but things can be better. We have not gotten to where we are supposed to be, though we are heading towards where we can just say that things can be better.
We need to look at an alternative source of power, such as cost of purchase, maintenance and fuelling of generating sets in the country for the purpose of electricity both for manufacturing and general consumption.”
Olukanni who charged the federal government to address the power situation squarely said the cost expended on power generation was unbearable.
“If such amount is being dedicated to boosting business in the country and if the government gets the power the situation right, then businesses would boom and we will become more competitive, especially now that we have signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
“Common knowledge shows that the cost of power generation by individuals is outrageous. If you look at the number of generators owned by business outfits in the country, you will understand why most businesses are closing shop.
Regrettably, the worst hit is the MSMEs. This problem is experienced in respective sectors where they operate,” he reiterated.
“The heart of the issue still remains the question of the power sector. Things have gone from bad to worse, so business owners still have to rely on providing their own power to do business.
This is not a good way to absolutely grow an economy, we have to find a way to sort this problem out and I sincerely hope that as part of the initiative for the current administration of Mr President would be to address the power outage in other to enhance the competitiveness of the Nigerian businessman.
Again, the question of the pursuit of the perfect will to execute top priorities like power is necessary, because business cannot thrive with the present power situation.”