Poor electricity affecting our economic growth – Prof Ozoemena

By Patrick Egwu in Enugu

A visiting Professor of Chemistry at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and renowned Chief Research Scientist, Energy Materials and Electrochemistry at the Council For Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), a South African government-based research and development institution, Professor Kenneth Ozoemena has decried the poor electricity situation in Nigeria which he says has negatively slow down the growth of the nation.

Professor Ozoemena made this known in an interview at the just concluded 2nd International African Conference on Nanotechnology held at the Princess Alexandria Auditorium of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

According to him, “it is really pathetic that in terms of power generation in Africa it is only South Africa and countries in North Africa (Egypt) that dominate in terms of electricity generation, they control more than 80% of electricity being generated in Africa, Nigeria is not generating anything. In fact, the amount of electricity generated by Nigeria officially as you find in literature or magazines is equivalent to what one airport in Tokyo, Japan (Narita International Airport) generates. Just one airport generates the same amount of electricity generated by Nigeria.”

“If Nigeria can generate at least one third of what South Africa is generating, then I think no country in this world will compete with us in terms of our power or economy. I am surprised that we are number one economy in Africa with our epileptic power generation.  Think about it when we can generate at least one third of what South Africa is generating, we will move far and I think we can do that.”

He urged the federal government to adopt what he described as “the energy mix,” which according to him involves the addition of other sources of power generation instead of dependency on one single source.

“we need to diversify our energy sources and adopt what the South Africans and Egyptians have called “the energy mix” where both hydro, coal, solar, wind, etc and if we can do that, then the epileptic power supply we have been witnessing in this country will be history,” he said.
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