By Kunle Adedoyin
Aliko Dangote, President of Dangote Group, has said that the poor performance of the country’s power sector is hindering growth of the economy.
Dangote spoke at a consultative roundtable session for public and private sector stakeholders in Lagos on Saturday organised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
He said Nigeria had been struggling to increase its electricity output for the past 18 years without success.
The industrialist urged the federal government to improve the sector, saying that “no business will thrive with business owners generating powers themselves”.
“How do you have economic growth without power? So, no power, no growth because without power there can’t be growth,” he said.
“Egypt increased its electricity by 10 gigawatts, which is equivalent to 10,000 megawatts in 18 months.
“In Nigeria, we have been struggling for 18 years without adding 1,000 megawatts and we have spent about three times above Egypt, why?
“So, I think we all need to be concerned about that.”
Dangote urged government to promote import substitution for foreign exchange accumulation through proceeds from exports.
He said instead of depending on proceeds from crude oil sales, government should focus on the non-oil sector of the economy, with particular reference to finance, manufacturing and agriculture.
“Government needs to encourage non-oil sector growth rather than depending on proceeds from crude oil to pay salaries,” he said.
“Proceeds from crude oil sale should be for major investment in the country.”
Other stakeholders present at the consultative round table session included Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN; Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos State Governor; Jim Ovia, Zenith Bank Chairman; Oba Otudeko, Chairman of Honeywell Group and Segun Agbaje, Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank.