The Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC) has called on the federal government to address power problems so Nigeria can boost electricity generation and reap gains from the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
All heads of government of the African Union signed the pact recently in Niamey, Niger Republic.
The Executive Secretary of APGC, Dr. Joy Ogaji in a statement on Wednesday said the Generation Companies (GenCos) are confident the AfCFTA could raise intra-Africa trade from the current 16 per cent to about 60 per cent.
As the biggest economy in Africa, with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of about $400 billion, Ogaji said the new agreement clearly presents Nigeria the potential opportunity to play a more active role in the regional and global economy.
“The signing of the agreement is not only a welcome development, but also a stirring indication that the Buhari administration is ready for business,” Ogaji noted.
Given the critical role adequate power supply plays in national development and enabling trade, she said government has a responsibility to pay particular attention to it as the benefits of the AfCFTA agreement to Nigeria may not be fully realised until the problems of the power sector are fully addressed.
She said: “Resolving the power supply issue will make consumer goods, machineries, equipment and tools flood the African/global consumer markets. It will also bring about increased employment and empowerment of the youth.
“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,” Mrs Ogaji said.
To address problems in the power sector, APGC said there was need for apolitical environment, coordinated leadership and enforceable regulations underpinned by best industry practices.