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Elumelu, At NBA Conference, Decries Poor Utilisation Of Nigeria’s Gas Reserves

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Chairman of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) and Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Mr Tony Elumelu, has decried Nigeria’s lack of capacity to power its thermal plants despite its  huge gas reserves.

Elumelu made this observation during his remarks at the official launch of the  Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Abuja on Sunday, August 27, 2023.

Calling for change, Elumelu blamed the situation on short-sightedness of the oil and gas regulatory regime as well as the self-serving policies that permanently keep Nigerians in the dark.

“Is it not ironic that a country with abundant gas resources cannot optimally operate its power plants due to lack of gas,” Elumelu rhetorically asked his audience during the NBA Conference.

“I have seen, the beginnings of what we can do.  Let me give you an example: The TransAfam Power Plant that belongs to Transcorp Group has an installed capacity of 1000 megawatts.  The Federal Government of Nigeria made significant investment to acquire 240 megawatts fast power turbines from General Electric (GE).
For context, 240 megawatts of electricity can power about one million homes in Nigeria.  Yet GE has threatened to pull out of the project, because our nation – with some of the largest gas reserves globally, could not provide 65mm scuffs of gas needed for the comprehensive testing of the installed fast power plant,”

According the TranScorp Group  Chairman,  Nigeria has idle gas fields with so much private capital to make the needed investments for gas production.  “Yet, we cannot produce gas to power our economy and 21st Century industrialisation.  Thanks to a short-sighted regulatory regime and self-serving policies that keep our people permanently in the dark.  This has to change.

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“Nation building is a call to arms – a vital task – a necessity.”
“Nation building is a call to arms- a vital taks- a necessity.” Elumelu said making references to the mishaps of the country like the kidnapping and insecurity.

READ ALSO: Private Sector Empowerment Key To Nigeria’s Transformation –  Tony Elumelu

“At its core, nation-building is the intricate process of forging a cohesive, harmonious, and united society, out of diverse individuals, culture, and ideologies.
It is the art of constructing a shared identity, purpose, and vision that transcends all individual interests.”
The UBA founder believes that it is not the responsibility of the government alone to build a nation.

In his words: “Transforming Nigeria is a journey that demands our collective dedication, building across political affiliations, ethnic differences, and socioeconomic differences.
Our private sector, our philanthropies, our civil society, all citizens must be brought together and be empowered – as real, valued and executing partners for this national renewal, this nation building.
It behoves us all to collaborate in unity to reset Nigeria.”

Why We Committed $100M To Democratize Luck, Empower Youths – Tony Elumelu

Elumelu in his speech said his family recognized that entrepreneurship is not just an economic endeavour but a social responsibility.

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“When my wife and I committed USD100m to help democratize luck and empower our youth, through The Tony Elumelu Foundation, giving annual non-refundable grants of USD5k seed capital to each beneficiary, now received by over 18,000 young Africans, it was not out of an abundance of wealth.  Rather it was our own contribution in spreading prosperity and making the world a better and safer place for all.”
He further added that poverty anywhere is a threat to everyone everywhere.
“The ultimate panacea for insecurity and extremism is prosperity.”

Nigeria Needs Investments To Make Progress

Elumelu, in his speech, gave insights on what the country should be doing to attract investments:

“In Washington, in Singapore, wherever you walk, you see homes, shops, offices proudly displaying their national flags.  Do you see this even in government agencies here, even less in private homes or corporate places?”

“And let us invest in our social infrastructure, in our civil society, our courts of law and our administrators of justice.  No country – and no entrepreneur, can truly thrive without the rule of law, without peace, without certainty and fairness – for all – for our young, our old, our women and our men, our future generations.
Let us invest in security:  Banditry; kidnapping; oil theft; pipeline vandalization, transmission line cuts.  These create uncertainties, fears, deprivation, poverty, and untold hardship.
Let us invest in brand Nigeria:  We know the frustrations.  We know that joblessness of our youth is a betrayal of a generation; and the plundering of our commonwealth is inhumane and cruel, but we have no other motherland than Nigeria.
Let us invest in Nigeria – so we are respected abroad and at peace and prosperous at home.”

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