The United Nation’s Industrial Development Organisation, UNIDO, has promised to work with the Federal Government to make power available to industrial clusters to ensure maximum production in the country.
UNIDO Country Representative, Mr. Patrick Kormawa, who disclosed this in an interview in Abuja, noted that the major goal of government to create jobs for the teeming youth will be realised if industrial clusters had power.
He also revealed that UNIDO in collaboration with other development partners have funded a $5 million, five tonnes per hour rice production in Ebonyi State.
Kormawa said UNIDO has big donors agencies like the European Union, EU; the World Bank; French Agency for Development; African Development Bank; and the German International Agency, to turn around the state of power supply in Nigeria.
According to him, “UNIDO is a technical agency that stands to promote inclusive and sustainable industrial development, and why are we interested in power? We are interested in power because without power industrialisation remains a mirage. Without power, we cannot lift the majority of Nigerians out of poverty which means industrialisation will not happen.
“If you look around the world, prosperity and access to power are highly correlated, so that is one point. Now UNIDO, its interest here is to work with the Federal Government to ensure that power is available to industry clusters and when industry clusters have power, of course the major goal of government which is job creation for the teeming youth would be achieved.
“Now UNIDO is the co-chair of the donor coordination group on power, and the donor coordination group on power comprises of big donors in this Nigeria. You have the European Union who has a huge programme on power, which is also supporting the power sector. We have the World Bank who is contributing towards the power sector development in this country.
“We also have the French Agency for development, they are also investing huge amount of money in the power sector. We have the African Development Bank. We have the German International Agency.
“All of these are working together as a group to ensure that there is what we refer to as development assistance to the Nigerian Government in terms of the power sector yielding the necessarily impact. That there is coordination among the team to make ensure that they can provide the needed support that is required by the government.
“Take for instance, throughout the privatisation process, some of these agencies supported the federal government in terms of analysis, in terms of capacity building and in terms of linking them up with financial institutions. These are some of the supports the group is making for the country.
“In particular for UNIDO, the organisation that I lead, our interest is to support the development of renewable energy sources in Nigeria. Why is that important to us? It is important because Nigeria has the three major sources of energy from which we can have renewable energy. They have abundant number of rivers which have the potential to provide energy.
“We have been able to map all those potential areas together with the Federal Ministry of Power, and we have just provided a map. Hopefully, we would be calling an investors’ forum to showcase what the potentials are, what the investments required are, and what are some of the incentives that government is giving so that the private sector can engage in them.