At the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) that holds quarterly, Nigeria’s Vice president , prof Osinbajo gave plausible reasons why Nigeria is yet to sign the African Continent Trade Agreement (AFCTA). The Vice President rightly fully stated that the EST of the signatory-countries are targeting Nigeria” huge market in dumping their goods. Lodega had indeed extolled the President Buhari administration for withholding consent the agreement as our economy and manufacturing sector is not yet ripe for such foreign incursion.
However when it was the turn for the Minister for Power, Works and Housing,Mr. Babatunde Fashola to make an impression, his remarks where laced with ludicrous comparison and unfathomable pitting Nigeria in comparison with countries, whose population and resources were not even up to Lagos state.
For instance, the Minister compared Nigeria with Rwanda telling us that Rwanda can only muster 106 megawatts of electricity.
The problem with this misleading information is that Rwanda is just 11 million in population and have an economy of $8 billion. This is a country that cannot be compared with Lagos with an estimated economy of over $96 billion and a population of over 20 million .
Fashola took the comparison to Nigeria’s West African neighbour, Ghana , claiming the only dual carriageway in the country was the one leading to the airport built by an American firm, again Ghana is a small country with 25 million population and $50 billion economy. And Ghana enjoys more stable electricity than Nigeria does by far even though she partly relies on Nigeria gas through the West African gas line project to generate some of her Electricity.
Ghana has roughly about 3000 megawatts installed. They are distributing only 1,600 megawatts, the Minister was quoted as saying. Well, if Ghana with 25 million people generates 1,600 MW, Nigeria has never generated above 4,000 and with a population of 200 million we are clearly not even at par with Rwanda!
The minister wouldn’t tell the world that a substantial amount of WAPCO project was built with Nigeria’s money and Ghana still owes Nigeria millions from gas supply. But they have nearly 24hr Electricity supply while Nigeria can not muster 4hrs uninterrupted power supply in a day. The minister
The minister would not tell Nigerians that Ghana may not have enough dual carriageway but her roads are not deathtraps riddled with potholes like Nigerian roads.
The Minister also wandered to Niger, a landlocked country with $7 billion economy and a population of 20 million. And one wonders why will a former Lagos governor now minister of Power would unrealistically pit Niger, Ghana and Rwanda against Nigeria, countries whose GDPs combined are not up to one third of Nigeria’s economy?
Whose electricity by population ratio is still superior to Nigeria’s and whose population makes their paltry electricity generation more stable than Nigeria’s! Comparing Nigeria with a laughable 4, 000 MW Electricity generation and having well over $400 billion economy and 200 million people with Niger , Rwanda and Ghana is a deception.
Fashola should not make Nigerians feel good about mediocrity and mundanity by comparing us with countries not up to a State in Nigeria. The Minister Of Power conveniently left out South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Angola and Algeria who are also part of the AFCTA trade agreement and who have more than twice Nigeria’s electricity generation and installation despite a smaller economy.
Below is the Minister comments as reported by akelicious.com:
Also speaking at the event, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, said if Nigeria signs the agreement, the country will have a competitive advantage over a number of other African countries because it has six functional international airports unlike those that have only one.
Furthermore, as poor as Nigeria’s electricity supply may be, the minister disclosed that it is far incomparable with the situation in some other African countries, recalling that as of 2016, Rwanda was only trying to secure paltry 106 megawatts of electricity.
He also said besides the road which leads to the Accra Airport in Ghana, there is no other dual carriage way in the country, pointing out that Nigeria supplies Niger 150 megawatts of electricity out of which he said they can only distribute 110 megawatts of electricity.
In the same vein, Fashola said Ghana which generates a total of 3000 megawatts can only distribute 1,600
“But if the decision on whether to sign or not were made, I will look at the countries that have signed. The interesting thing about the countries that have signed is that, unlike us where we have Kano, Kaduna, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Lagos, Owerri, six different cities that can land an Air plane and other cities like that, the country is that have signed are one city countries – Rwanda – Kigali, Niger – Niamey, Ghana- Accra, those are the countries that have signed and we are afraid.
“How much power do we have and we say we are not ready? Just listen to me and you can fact check this, as at 2016, Rwanda was trying to get to 106 megawatts of electricity. The suburbs of Rwanda are on generators. The only place that I saw that has a dual carriage way when I visited last year was the GRA. All their roads are dual carriage way, but they are ready.
“Apart from the airport in Accra built by the American Nexim Bank, which other roads have dual carriage way? Because I go there. It might interest you to know the Niger Power Minister came to see me. They are owing us on power but they are ready. We supply 150 megawatts of their power. Their entire grid is 250 megawatts. The 150mw we supply, they can’t distribute more than 110 megawatts but they are ready. Ghana has roughly about 3000 megawatts installed. They are distributing only 1,600 megawatts, that’s a little above what Lagos is getting,” Fashola said.