President Muhammadu Buhari has again pledged his administration’s resolve to enhance the growth of the power sector in country by using it as the sector as the main driver of the envisaged development of small and medium enterprises.
Making this assertion at the opening ceremony of the 5th Nigeria Alternative Energy Expo (NAEE 2015), in Abuja, President Buhari noted that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are the bedrock for the development of any society , hence the performance of the power sector therefore is paramount to the survival of the industrial sector.
President Buhari, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Power, Amb. (Dr.) Godknows Igali, expressed optimism that opportunities abound in this sector, despite the challenge, as such government is doing everything possible to attract massive involvement in the power sector just as it reiterated that Government will ensure regular and steady electricity supply for a viable and sustainable development.
Government is committed to establishing a level playing ground for all interested investors, with encouraging policies and incentives that would leap frog socio-economic growth and development of the country and to complement and support the global investors interest shown to issues around energy, through the provision of infrastructure that meet internationally standard and sustainable.
He promised that Government will continue to encourage genuine would-be investors with generous duty free repine for all power project components, in addition to tax-holiday and restriction reparation of profits by investors.
Mr. President therefore challenged “investors to go into renewal energy projects, so as to help fill the gap by lighting up our homes, environment and our businesses”. He stressed that in line with international best practice, renewable is the way to go, although it might be expensive initially, the near nil maintenance cost will make renewable cheap in the long run.
He averred that renewal energy offers enormous business opportunities for young people especially in the rural areas. As Electro Entrepreneurs, young people should take advantage of Government initiatives designed to assist them. For instance he said, the Bank of Industry is already working with the Ministry to fast-track credit lines for renewal energy projects, also Total Oil has a robust plan to develop solar powered equipment that would be used more in the rural area that are off the grid system.
Also speaking at the occasion, Ambassador Denys Gauer, the French Envoy in Nigeria said that France is poise to assisting the continent in increasing access to electricity, so that African women can give birth to children in the light, children are able to do their home lessons using light and vaccines can be stored with electricity.
The target is for the French to improve access on the continent in 15 years to about 80%, through assistance from multi-lateral and Bi-lateral donor agencies.
The French Envoy reiterated the determination of his government to continue with the various capacity-building initiative already in place with power sector institution like National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN), while equally lending support in clean and renewable energy production, transmission and distribution value chain.