The World Bank has warned the Nigerian Government that unless the issue of gas -to -power is resolved, it would be difficult to mitigate against the effects of sliding crude oil revenue profile of the country. The World Bank therefore urged the government to muster the political will to break the jinx which has bedevilled the power sector.
With the power sector properly fixed, it said,the nation’s economic base would expand and this would lead to significant creation of jobs across sectors.
Marie Marie-Nelly, country director, World Bank stated this in Lagos, while speaking at the Contracting and Procurement Managers Conference with the theme : “Oil and Gas Price Decline Contracting and Supply Management, Making a Difference,” which was organised by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Company, and held in Lagos recently.
Marie-Nelly emphasised that the country’s leadership must muster enough political will to sort out the power problem, adding it was because of lack of political will that had made her unable to convert her huge gas resources to power.
He lamented that there were still a lot of bottlenecks yet to be addressed which have prevented the translation of gas resources to power, in spite of the huge reserves in- country.
“It is critical to get the gas -to -power issue sorted out without further delay because it is very important towards boosting the economic growth at this point in time when the decline in oil prices has impacted negatively on the economy”, he said.
“ The day Nigeria sorts out the gas-to-power supply issue, that would be the day the country would break the jinx that has enveloped the power sector and the economy would quicken its path of growth”.
Commenting on the implications of the declining oil and gas prices on Nigeria, he urged the government to diversified its economy so as to mitigate the effect of such fluctuations in Oil and Gas prices.
He said areas which the decline has already affected include sharp reduction in the capital expenditure of the 2015 budget, many states not being able to pay salaries and carry on with projects, while many have cut their budgets, and the drastic reduction of foreign reserves which can presently support only about four to five months of importation.
SOURCE: Business Day