|Issa Aremu/ Credit: Vanguard
The Vice President of Africa Industrial global union, Issa Aremu said that achieving stable electricity provision in Africa would boost employment generation and reduce poverty.
Aremu stated this at the 2016 Africa Industrialisation Day with the theme, ‘Back to basics: the revival of basic industries and creation of sustainable employment’, said that the goal of the Africa Industrial Global Union is to ensure sustainable industrial development in key sectors of the economy for massive jobs creation in Africa.
According to him, the sustainable power generation in Nigeria and Africa as a whole would reduce illegal migration to Europe and other parts of the world.
In his words: “Today is to draw awareness to the state of our energy sector, you know the story of Nigeria and how privatisation had caused us more harm than good. Nigeria electricity suffers from what we called “power poverty’’ because 180 million people are on 5000 megawatts. I am very sure even in terms of the number of Zimbabwe may be richer than Nigeria, but if Zimbabwe is generating 5000 megawatts, what is their population, their population is only 18 million.
“You can see that in terms of power per capital, small population, but a relatively small generation, and this is the same with Ghana with only 27 million populations. So how can our industries work without electricity, how can we create sustainable jobs for our teeming youths who go in search of jobs in Europe and get themselves killed in the Mediterranean sea,” he stressed.
Aremu said that it was time for the African government to fashion out critical ideas for accelerating industrial manufacturing in order to add value to its abundance mineral resources to create employment.
He explained: “It means that rather than African countries exporting their raw materials they should try to add value to these raw materials, like instead of exporting crude oil and gas, we should process them. That is, we should refine them into one range of product and in the process, we can create mass jobs for our people and we can also build self-reliance.
The same for the iron and steel industries, we have a high abundance of iron and steel raw materials but what are we doing, we are exporting them and then we are importing finished product into the country.”