Despite being Africa’s leader oil exporter, Nigeria’s shambolic indigenous energy infrastructure is negatively affecting the country’s businesses.
Consequently, many Nigerian businesses are failing as a result of the high costs of running them along with chronic energy shortages and a poor transport infrastructure, leading many of them to relocate to neighboring countries like Ghana.
In Lagos, the small-scale entrepreneurs are the worst affected, and many small businessmen such as hairdressers, barbers, tailors, shoe makers and carpenters, now depend on generators to meet their energy needs, with those too poor to afford the option either going out of business or moving their enterprises abroad. Those that cannot afford to purchase fuel have since parked up, thus, increasing the unemployment rate in the country.
The Daily Independent reported that investigations indicate that nearly every household in Lagos now has a generator, ranging from giant devices down to four-stroke engine models. Many small businessmen accuse the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), and the federal government of turning a blind eye to the country’s energy deficits and paying mere lip-service to issues of national power generation and distribution.
Despite such skepticism, the Lagos State Government has stressed the importance of power to the state’s economic development, with its Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources Development Tijani Ajibade Taofiq, after visiting the state’s Island Power Plant at Marina Lagos, which has an installed capacity of 15 megawatts, reiterated the concerns of the state government towards improving the provision of an uninterrupted power supply to the state’s consumers in order to improve the state’s economy.
By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com