Tony Elumelu, the founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, has called for regulatory reforms to attract investments in Nigeria’s power sector. He emphasized the urgent need for a sustainable and robust power supply in the country.
Speaking at the annual conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Abuja, Elumelu expressed concern over Nigeria’s inability to fully utilize its power plants due to a shortage of gas, despite having abundant gas resources.
He called attention to idle gas fields and the presence of significant private capital available for gas production. Still, the nation struggles to produce sufficient gas to fuel its economy and 21st-century industrialization due to what he termed a short-sighted regulatory regime and self-serving policies.
Elumelu highlighted the example of the TransAfam Power Plant, which is part of his Transcorp Group and boasts an installed capacity of 1000 megawatts. He mentioned how the Federal Government invested significantly in acquiring 240 megawatts of fast power turbines from General Electric (GE), but this initiative stalled due to a lack of gas supply.
Elumelu stressed the importance of investing in the youth and creating an enabling environment for entrepreneurship to thrive. He pointed out that the success of entrepreneurs directly impacts the nation’s prosperity.
According to him, nurturing entrepreneurship is not just an economic endeavor but a social responsibility. Empowering the youth, and supporting startups, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) contributes to equitable wealth distribution, job creation, and social advancement. It leads to economic empowerment that uplifts communities and fosters a more inclusive society.
Elumelu also called for a renewed commitment to Nigeria’s youth, emphasizing that the country has a rich entrepreneurial culture and can benefit from the social and economic returns that entrepreneurship generates when harnessed effectively.
Furthermore, he urged Nigeria to embark on the challenging journey of nation-building, emphasizing that it requires collective dedication across political affiliations, ethnic backgrounds, and socioeconomic differences. Elumelu stressed the importance of forging a cohesive, harmonious, and united society, transcending individual interests to create a shared identity, purpose, and vision for the nation’s future.