NIGERIAN BUSINESSMAN KOLA ALUKO TELLS US-AFRICA BUSINESS SUMMIT WHY AFRICA’S PRIVATE ENERGY SECTOR IS KEY TO THE CONTINENTS COMMERCIAL FUTURE
Leading Nigerian entrepreneur Kola Aluko told an international audience of business leaders that the continued influence and growth of independent companies in the energy sector in Africa is vital if, the continent is to fulfill its true potential as a commercial power.
He was speaking as a panel member during a discussion on the prospects and Challenges for Africa’s Energy sector at the US-Africa Business Summit in Chicago, USA. The summit, the 9th biennial event organised by The Corporate Council on Africa, is billed by its organisers as “the largest forum of its kind”.
As the founder and Co-CEO of Atlantic Energy, Kola Aluko said:
“In the past, 97% of Nigeria’s production was dominated by the International Oil Companies who’s understandable focus on what was best for shareholders, didn’t always reflect what was best for the country. But the government is aware of the importance to change that and the introduction of tax benefits to independent operators is a major incentive to work for the wider benefit and generate a trickle down effect which then benefits the population.
“As an example, most of Africa’s gas is stranded and there are not enough lines to carry it to the power plants. The big challenge is to find ways to invest to improve that.
“In Nigeria, we built 60 kilometres of pipeline from the source to the power plant which was a project we undertook in conjunction with the government. It’s important we all continue to find ways to invest efficiently in this way to make the right improvements.
Mr. Aluko was speaking just two weeks after the Made In Africa Foundation he co-founded with British designer, Ozwald Boateng, launched the ‘Africa50’ fund in association with the African Development Bank, at the NASDAQ in New York. The fund has been established to raise USD 500 million for infrastructure projects across the African continent with the aim of taking 200 million Africans out of poverty though sustainable development.
“Africa50 has already shown there is a firm commitment within the private sector to play a visionary role in Africa’s infrastructure programme. Africa is a resource-rich country which can be a force for good within global commerce and those involved in the summit in Chicago have shown there is international commitment too.