A marketing and advertising expert, Jude Emecheta, has called for the expansion of the power supply structure in Nigeria to enable the industrial sector to grow in the country’s South-east.
Mr Emecheta, who is the managing director of Anambra Signage and Advertisement Agency (ANSAA), said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Friday.
He said power, which relied on the national electricity grid, is the bane of industrialisation in the South-east, noting that efforts should be made to increase supply and explore other energy options.
He said every industrial activity in the region, especially in Anambra, was a product of individual efforts adding that shortage of energy and high cost of running factories had resulted in a high number of shutdowns.
Mr Emecheta urged the Federal Government to run a nationwide gas supply network which should make it possible for users to access for industrial purposes.
He wondered why the energy that should have been obtained from coal in Enugu State had been moribund when the mineral was still a major source of energy in most advanced countries.
According to him, “the cost of production here is very high, that is why the ones that exist are shutting down”.
“We are advocating that gas distribution should be liberalised so that they don’t just pass through Anambra to Lagos, they should be sold here so that our factories can buy and power their operations.
“Even if we generate electricity through an Independent Power Project, we can’t use it because of the existing law, it has to be put into the national grid where we will in turn get supply.
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“Until we are able to have sufficient power supply, industrialisation in the South-east region will remain stifled.
“Enugu would have been doing better in terms of industrialisation but the investors are hampered by power challenges.
“There is coal deposit in Enugu but while the Western nations are using it, they say we should not, claiming that it depletes the ozone layer and results in greenhouse effect,” he said.
Mr Emecheta said the advertising industry was not as successful as in Lagos State and other industrialised cities because of the low activity in the real sector resulting in revenue loss to state governments.
He commended the Anambra State Government for setting up the Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency, a one-stop shop which facilitates acquisition of land and registration of businesses in the state.