The Group Managing Director, Sahara Power Group, Kola Adesina, has stated that without adequate supply of electricity, the target of digitalising Nigeria’s economy may not be achieved.
Sahara Power is a major player that operates in the electricity generation and distribution arms of the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry.
In his remarks after receiving the Nigerian Society of Engineers’ honorary fellowship award in Abuja, Adesina told the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and other senior government officials at the event, that the country’s current power output was so insufficient.
Buhari was represented at the ongoing event by the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Senator Adeleke Mamora. The communications minister had earlier stated that the government was making efforts to meet its digital economy target for Nigeria.
But while making his remarks after receiving the NSE award, the Sahara Power boss told the audience that the about 4,500 megawatts of electricity being generated and distributed across the country was too meagre for Nigeria.
He said, “If you look at where we are in Nigeria today, over 200 million people and we are doing just about 4,500MW of electricity. When the representative of the Minister of Communications spoke earlier, I looked around and thought that there is something far more important and significant than advancing the frontiers of communication and digital economy in Nigeria.”
“Without electricity there can’t be a digital economy. Without electricity you cannot communicate. Without electricity, there’s no agriculture. Without electricity the quality of life will be boring, to say the least. The quantum of energy in the system today is absolutely insufficient for our population.”
Adesina stated that Nigeria’s population was growing phenomenally, whereas the infrastructure required to deliver key services to serve as the engine to boost the Gross Domestic Product was lagging behind.
“There is a need for each and everyone of us to have the burden in our minds and search for solutions that will help electrify Nigeria,” he stated.
He added, “The whole world is looking at us and wondering why are we in this situation? Why can’t we have light? You give me this (the award) today as a mandate to do more.
“It is a mandate to my partners and friends in the sector to all wake up. We cannot afford to fail. I want to say to you that I am not going to diminish the value of your wonderful profession, but will align with you to ensure that we ultimately conquer darkness in Nigeria.”