ABCON seeks radical power sector reforms, business growth - PUNCH
BY Nike Popoola
The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria has called for radical implementation of the power sector reform programme to ensure access to stable electricity supply for households and businesses.
The association made this call in its Quarterly Economic Report for the first quarter of 2019.
It noted that Nigeria’s score of 35 in terms of ease of getting electricity, as indicated by the World Bank Ease of Doing Business report, was lower than the average for sub-Saharan Africa, and much lower than other comparable middle-income countries, with South Africa having a score of 63 and India having a score of 85.
It stressed that access to stable electricity was one of the key challenges and constraints for doing business in Nigeria and hence, a critical area of focus for the government in order to sustain the ongoing economic recovery.
ABCON stated, “Weighing on the emergence of Nigeria from a recession in 2017, the country’s continued economic recovery will be slow, according to a new economic analysis. However, the analysis showed, labour-intensive sectors remained weak, which contributed to an increase in the rate of unemployment and underemployment throughout 2018 into Q1 2019. Level of poverty is also believed to have increased notwithstanding the exit from recession.
“The reviews have identified the power sector as a critical area that government should focus attention to sustain the economic recovery. With the electoral victory of the incumbent government, ABCON review is recommending attention in the following sectors for full recovery from the recent recession; radical implementation of the power sector reform programme to ensure access to stable electricity supply for businesses; and comprehensive diversification of the economy.”