World Bank’s $486 million: Ensure Funds are Judiciously spent, Olasode tasks Federal Government
The Federal Government of Nigeria has been called on to judiciously utilise the 486 million dollars fund approved by the World Bank. This call was made by Economist and Group Managing Director of TL First Group, Dr. Olu Olasode.
The credit which was granted to rehabilitate and upgrade the Nigerian electricity transmission substations and lines, is a welcome investment to help alleviate the current issues militating against the power sector in Nigeria, the Economist added.
According to Olasode, effective utilisation of the fund can benefit small scale business owners and contribute to adequate and reliable electricity supply necessary for Nigeria’s continued economic development as an effort to ease the infrastructure constraints these businesses currently face.
Electricity is a significant component of virtually any production process. As such, limited supply has the potential to, directly or indirectly, affect the economic productivity of businesses. An attendant effect is the closure of many Enterprises in Nigeria in the last five years.
He stated that the Transmission Company of Nigeria can be better empowered to ensure increased transmission network and provision of additional electricity. He further proposed that part of the funds can be used to adopt new models that tap into the vitality of the nation’s potentials. “For instance, investment can be made into solar-powered light centres that help to increase social activity and productivity of communities by generating light after sundown. These light centres can be used to power medical equipment such as an ultrasound, or refrigerators that store vaccines at medical centres.”
Olasode, however, expressed concern about the sustainability of the nation’s rising debt stock, especially during a period when the country’s socio-economic development continues to be plagued by myriad of challenges.
He urged the Federal Government to apply caution in contracting more debt and identify innovative ways to mitigate the current debt portfolio. Olasode suggested that current loan funding available to the government should be deployed to tap into the nation’s creative opportunities to facilitate economic growth, resolve security challenges across the regions, address development, generate employment and reduce poverty.