Tony Elumelu, the Founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation, has brought to light the critical issue of inadequate gas supply impacting the functioning of power plants within the country. This predicament, he indicated, is consequently exerting pressure on the nation’s electricity delivery. Elumelu voiced these concerns on Sunday during the Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association.
In his address at the event, he emphasized the urgent need for the country to prioritize investments in its power sector and establish effective regulatory frameworks that can ensure a sustainable and consistent power supply to households, educational institutions, medical facilities, and industries.
Elumelu commented, “Isn’t it paradoxical that a nation blessed with abundant gas resources is hindered in efficiently operating its power plants due to a scarcity of gas? I have personally witnessed the potential that lies within our grasp. To illustrate, consider the TransAfam Power Plant owned by the Transcorp Group, boasting a capacity of 1000 megawatts. The Nigerian government made a substantial investment in acquiring 240 megawatts rapid power turbines from General Electric. To provide context, this level of electricity can adequately power approximately one million homes in Nigeria. Yet, General Electric has contemplated withdrawing from the project due to our nation’s inability – despite possessing some of the world’s largest gas reserves – to supply the required 65 million standard cubic feet of gas for the comprehensive testing of the newly installed rapid power plant.”
He highlighted the presence of dormant gas fields in the country while ample private capital remains untapped for investment in gas production. According to Elumelu, inhibitive regulatory limitations and self-serving policies have hindered the progress of such investments.
Elumelu also noted that the Nigerian private sector has been showcasing the nation’s capacity, innovation, and institutional advancement to the global audience. However, he lamented the scarcity of globally recognized businesses originating from Nigeria.
Addressing the pressing security situation, he stressed, “Insecurity spawns disorder, fosters intolerance, and erodes opportunities. It is imperative that we allocate resources to enhance security. Menaces such as banditry, kidnapping, oil theft, pipeline vandalism, and damage to transmission lines introduce uncertainty, fear, deprivation, poverty, and extensive hardship.”
Furthermore, he acknowledged that recent government policies are poised to yield positive long-term effects for the country. In his perspective, Nigeria possesses a wealth of entrepreneurial spirit and should proactively harness its human resources.
Elumelu remarked, “We must invest in our youth – recommit to their success within Nigeria, not outside of it. This endeavor necessitates not only bolstering our education system but also cultivating a culture of entrepreneurship.”
Characterizing Nigeria as a nation of entrepreneurs, he implored private sector leaders to perceive themselves as driving forces for innovation, investment, and job creation. He contended that fostering entrepreneurship transcends mere economic pursuits, constituting a social obligation.
Concluding his discourse, Elumelu rallied for resolute commitment to the task of nation-building, guided by principles of unity, inclusivity, and progress.