Following the failure of government’s efforts to resolve the power challenges of Nigeria’s manufacturing sector over the years operators in the country may have now taken the bull by the horn to tackle the menace.
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has taken steps to generate its own electricity and sell to the public or industrial clusters.
MAN’s President, Mr. Frank Jacobs, hinted that embedded power generation can best ensure power supply to the nation’s industrial clusters since they cannot get enough from the national grid.
The manufacturers body is establishing an Independent Power Project (IPP) team that will facilitate provision of power for all the 24 manufacturing clusters in the country without relying on the national grid.
The power group recently organised a presentation meeting for private power generation companies as it prepared to commence with two clusters in Lagos,
Henry Carr and Amuwo Odofin.
The MAN Power Development Company Limited, which is ready to partner any of the companies that eventually wins the bid, which currently enjoys the support of the World Bank through its subsidiary, International Finance Corporation (IFC).
Speaking during the formal presentations by several power generation companies, both local and foreign, Heidi Ijomah, IFC Investment Officer, African Infrastructure, said the World Bank is committed to assisting Nigeria resolve its power crisis.
She stated that the MAN power project was commendable, as it was in line with the ideal of the global body but noted that MAN would need to provide credible backings for any of the companies eventually selected to run the power plant before IFC can bankroll the project.
According to her, the new power plant must be self-sustaining and capable of refunding loans coming from credible funding party like the World Bank.
The Chairman of the power project, Ibrahim Usman, said that MAN with the presentation by various generation companies is moving into the implementation of the project, which has been on the drawing board for some time now.
He stated that MAN resolved to embark on the project as the state of electricity supply in the country has continued to be a big challenge to the manufacturing sector.
He said, “we are undertaking the project to save our industries from total collapse. Presently 30 to 40 per cent of our cost goes into electricity. In a country where the demand is over 7,000 megawatts and the country’s capacity has dropped from 5,000 to 2,500, we cannot afford to see our plants that we have invested heavily on go down the drain.
That is the urgency of this project. MAN is an advocacy body but has to go into this for our members’ survival.”
The Chairman said the project team would look at the most affordable and effective out of the several proposals presented by companies from Nigeria, China, Greece and Netherlands.