‘Nigeria’s power sector has potential for continued growth’
Jaan Van valkenburgh is the Content Director, Informa Industrial Group. In this interview with Tayo Oredola, she spoke on the state of Nigeria’s power industry, the Power Nigeria Conference, among other issues.
Nigeria’s power sector has continued to deteriorate amid huge investments into the sector. What could be largely responsible for this?
Nigeria’s energy sector’s problems are more complex than any of the stakeholders anticipated when they privatised several years ago. However, the sector has made incredible steps in the last 24 months. For one, financing has been acquired. Two, off-grid solutions are proving viable power solutions. At Power Nigeria, we’ll talk about all these developments and what it means for Nigerians.
What are your expectations from this year’s exhibition?
Visitors will be inspired by the energy sector leaders taking the Power Nigeria conference stage and by the innovative solution providers exhibiting this year. Speaking are the heads of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Standards Organisation of Nigeria(SON), and the African Development Bank (Nigerian office), among others. Key exhibitors include Skipper, Elswedey Electric, Lucy Electric and Schneider Electric.
It really is an empowering event, for those of us in the industry, as well as those requiring more reliable electricity.
What technologies are expected to be showcased at the event?
Power Nigeria again covers the entire electricity life cycle – transmission, distribution and generation. There is more emphasis this year on the off-grid solutions, as communities and other electricity consumers take power generation into their own hands, with blessing of several government agencies.
Are you impressed by the level of investment in the sector so far?
Investment is high and has the potential to continue to grow. When the Federal Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, spoke at Power Nigeria, he called the nation’s power sector an amazing investment opportunity. It’s possible not everyone believed him then, but they do now. Most recently, the World Bank provided $350m in funding to Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Agency’s (REA) efforts to spread off-grid and mini-grid energy systems throughout rural Nigeria. And we’re excited to hear what the Nigerian head of the African Development Bank will say during his remarks at our Power Nigeria conference on Tuesday the 25th of September.
What informed the theme, “Power generation, transmissions and distribution” for the programme?
Traditionally, Power Nigeria focused more on the sector’s technology and development (T&D) side, as we saw that was where our event could make the greatest difference. However, Power Nigeria continues to reflect what is happening in the marketplace, and the market’s growing interest in off-grid and mini-grid solutions is certainly reflected in this year’s Power Nigeria, meaning we will spend a great deal of time also on generation solutions this year.