Electricity generation companies (Gencos) in Nigeria have detailed how Nigeria may not fully benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Nigeria signed the Agreement on July 7, 2019 in Niamey, Niger Republic at the session of Africa Union (AU).
Gencos also stated that they were currently caught up in a poor market structure and failing transmission network.
The Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC), explained recently that although the AfCFTA was a welcome development, the chances of Nigeria making maximum benefits from it were limited on account of her power sector which was unstable.
It noted for example that due to the significant role stable electricity plays in economic development, poor power supply in Nigeria means that goods and services offered by the country may not be comparatively and competitively priced when compared to other countries in the continent with better power supply.
“Thus, the cumulative result of a significant boost in trade and therefore the economy, may not be realised,” the APGC said in a statement signed by its Executive Secretary, Dr. Joy Ogaji.
According to the association,“For instance, steel mills consume huge amount of power to convert pig iron blocks to liquefied iron, mix with ingredients such as carbon, alloys and chemicals to change into different type of steel, alloy, bars, rods, H-beams, and sheet metals.
“In mining industry, changing the mineral deposit and ores from the mines to concentrate metal blocks also require huge amount of power. Hospitals need uninterrupted electricity supply 24 hours a day, for many health care functions and operation of patients.
“Also, our universities require constant electricity to undertake high level research and development works.”
“Steady and regular power supply is needed for different type of industries, where goods, appliances, tools, instruments, machines, modern communication equipment and gadgets, vehicles, aircrafts, ships are manufactured.
“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.”