Kola Adesina, the managing director and CEO of Sahara Power Group, talks to TOGY about the developing power network in Nigeria and government policy on the sector. Sahara Power Group is an affiliate of Sahara Group, one of Africa’s largest energy conglomerates, with subsidiaries that are active across the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors.
• On Nigeria’s upstream: “The upstream opportunities are huge and they will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. We are interested in any opportunity that comes our way in marginal fields.”
• On power generation: “The system has the potential to deliver 13,000 MW today, but it cannot be transmitted and distributed. We can continue to increase generation, but if there is no infrastructure for distribution, it is worthless.”
• On investment: “We head for the polls next year and investors are generally wary of making investment decisions at such times. The general election will be held in February and it is expected that most investors will be going for short-term investments with a clear exit strategy. So we will certainly be very strategic with the timing of the project.”
• On affordability: “Generation and metering do not stand alone. We need to pay attention to the whole value chain, and consumers’ ability to pay is a key and overlooked concept. I like the idea of people playing with different concepts, but they need to be tested in terms of their validity and sustainability. You cannot just throw policies in the marketplace and assume that somehow equilibrium will be achieved.”