By Joseph BAMIDELE
LAGOS-The Minister of Power Prof Barth Nnaji has referred to infrastructural development as the main drive in achieving national development anywhere in the world, especially in Nigeria.
He also stressed that Nigeria is in dire need of infrastructural renewal adding that of all the infrastructural facilities that need radical development, electricity stands out.
Professor Nnaji who was ably represented by the Special adviser on Power, Mr. C. Don Adinuba made this known today at the 9th Aret Adams Annual Memorial Lecture Series with the theme “Infrastructural Improvement: An Imperative For National Growth”.
His words “In a place like China, infrastructural development refers to the establishment of state of the art rail system complete with the fastest and most advanced train in history”
“The quantum of power consumed in a country by the citizens is considered a good indicator of the country’s socio-economic performance”.
“But the epileptic nature of Nigeria’s power supply is often cited as the most critical factor for the seeming de-industrialization of the country, which in recent times have seen hundreds of textile firms collapsed and multinationals like Michelin and Dunlop leave Nigeria to neighboring countries like Ghana.
“We have also witnessed hug losses of revenue from industrial companies like Nigeria Breweries, Guinness, and Nestle including hotels because they now generate their own power supply”
Adinuba added that President Jonathan is willing to turn things around by aggressively pursuing reform in the power sector. He said “towards the end of 2011 the President of the United State EXIM Bank was in Nigeria to sign a Memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Power to Provide $1.5 billion credit facility to companies in Nigeria’s power sector using American products and services”
Dr. Pascal Dozie, Chairman MTN Nigeria, who also doubles as Chairman of the event stated that integrity has hindered infrastructural improvement in the country adding that the theme of the 9th Aret Adam Memorial Lecture Series is of National importance that leads Nigeria’s quest for National Development.
“Power supply undoubtedly drives the growth of National development and it is now time for us to think globally to ensure that we have infrastructural development that will gear the nation towards development.
“Security cannot be left out when we are discussing infrastructural development because when you have the necessary factors that can attract investors into the country and their lives is not protected or safe, investors will not come”
The MTN boss therefore urged Nigerians to downplay self-interest and pursue global ideas that will drive the nation forward.