There Is Hope For The Nation’s Power Sector – Amb. Igali
—As FUL holds first Engr. Joseph Makoju memorial lecture
Ambassador Godknows Boladei-Igali, on Tuesday said that proper development of the Power Sector is critical to Nigeria’s economic development to stand as one of the leading economies of the world.
Igali made the observation while delivering the 1st Lecture in memory of late Engr. Joseph Oyeyani-Makoju at the Auditorium of the Federal University Lokoja (FUL), Adankolo campus, Lokoja.
In his lecture, titled: “The Apogee of National Service and Vision for the Nigerian Power Sector: Reflection on the life and Times of Engr. (Dr) Joseph Oyeyani-Makoju”, Igali said that there is hope for the nation’s power sector.
Igali, who is the current Pro-chancelllor of the Federal University of Akure, urged the Federal Government to urgently provide robust policy guidance and thorough Supervision in the sector without interfering in its day to day activities.
He argued, “Not only that, Government must revive the Presidential Action Committee on Power (PACP) as problem-solving and decision-making platform for the sector.”
“For a population of the size of Nigeria, the proper development of its Power Sector is critical to the country’s march into a rightful standing as one of the leading economies of the World,” he said.
The Guest Lecturer regretted that PACP, which was considered as the Ombudsman that helped the power sector to experience the growth that has occurred, was completely abandoned midway.
According to him, the unbundling of NEPA in President Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime and mid-wived by late Makoju, was aimed at opening opportunities for the private sector to come in for better service delivery.
“Unfortunately, as it is now, local investors have developed a fatigue from lending to the sector due to the fact that the privatized utilities still maintain high exposure levels of about US$1.95 billion indebtedness.
“Again, foreign investors have generally been uncomfortable with Nigeria’s high debt service to revenue ratio, thereby dwindling the aggregate of foreign direct investment in to Nigeria,” he noted.
Igali pointed out that Nigeria has produced some of the world’s most cherished and venerated persons like late Makoju, “who daily lent his mental, spiritual, emotional, and creative being acumen to making Nigeria what it’s today.”
“Makoju has laid a foundation on which the nation can now build on toward boosting the power sector and the economy to give the citizens quality and standard living, ” he said.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor of Federal University Lokoja, Prof Olayemi Akinwumi, said that Makoju brought to bear his knowledge of science and technology to drive every industry that he had worked and led with crystal positive results.
The VC, however, commended the Makoju family for initiating the memorial lecture, which would give room to intellectuals, experts and policy makers to brainstorm on issues concerning the development of the nation.
Makoju, who was popularly known as the “cement man” because of his sting with Dangote Cement and WAPCO, died on April 11, 2022, after a protracted illness.