***Eulogises Engr Joseph Makoju
By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.
Pro-Chancellor of Federal University of Technology, Akure Amb. (Dr) Godknows Boladei Igali, has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to critically look into developing the nation’s gas sector to generate and export electricity.
Igali made the call while delivering a Lecture titled: “The Apogee Of National Service And Vision For The Nigerian Power Sector: Reflections On The Life And Times Of Engr. (Dr.) Joseph Oyeyani Makoju” at the Federal University, Lokoja.
The first Lecture in memory of Engr Joseph Makoju was organised by FUL in partnership with the Joseph Makoju Foundation for Development, Leadership and Technology as part of efforts to contribute to solving leadership development and power problem in Nigeria.
Igali said that gas as at today, remained the most cost-effective fuel for electricity power generation “We can harness our gas properly and build turbines and allow proper electricity transmission network.
“The expectation of Makoju was that on medium-term basis Nigeria could become the net exporter of electricity with improvement made on developing its gas to power assets.
“At present Nigeria has over 600 trillion standard cubic feet of gas and therefore could flood the entire sub-region and the whole of Africa with electric power if there is consistent development.
He said that the late Makoju as a visionary saw into the future and he set to develop the sector saying, “We have to wake up from our slumber and begin to develop our gas to power assets.”
The Ambassador held that with proper utilisation of the nation’s gas reserve, Nigeria would be able to build infrastructures all over Africa and begin to export power to other African nations like Ghana, Senegal, Cameroon, Central African Republic among others.
Igali said that developing the Power Sector was critical to economic development of Nigeria and urged the Federal Government to provide a robust policy guidance and supervision in the sector without interference in its day-to-day running.
He said insufficient power was causing a gross economic loss of about $26 billion (over N10 trillion) every year in Nigeria.
“Not only that, Government must revive the Presidential Action Committee on Power (PACP) as problem-solving and decision-making platform for the sector”, he said.
The Guest Lecturer held that former President Olusegun Obasanjo against this backdrop, pursued power generation and played supervisory role over private sector dynamism and raising power generation from 1.5 megawatts to 4.8 megawatts.
Eulogizing late Engr (Dr) Joseph Oyeyani Makoju, Igali described late Super Executive of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) as a citizen who was prepared for service to the nation.
He said that Makoju had the foundation of humanity ingrained in him adding that he saw humanity beyond religion and faith and that disposition formed the basis of his virtues.
He said that Makoju persevered and endured, powered by tenacity arising from his cultural and philosophical environment and scholarship to become a task driver who prepared the power sector for privatization with unbundling of the sector. (Ends)