Adjekpagbon Blessed Mudiaga
The problem of power outage seems not to be peculiar to Nigeria alone if a report by Radio France International (RFI) reviews today about African countries facing such challenges is anything to go by.
The need for constant availability of electric power for economic development cannot be over emphasized. The perennial absence or epileptic nature of power supply has great negative effects on every sphere of life in any society, especially in the economic sector.
According to the RFI African reviews, “a total of 44,000 South Africans lost their jobs in the first quarter of this year. Stubbornly slow economic growth and the country’s power crisis were cited as factors contributing to the poor performance.
“Private sector companies have been hit hardest by the national electricity company’s inability to keep the lights on — most of them experienced a decline in turnover, which forced them to slash jobs.
“Private sector enterprises’ turnover fell by over five per cent in the first quarter — the highest decrease since 2010, according to financial figures released by Statistics South Africa yesterday.
“Zambia has its own power problems. The authorities in Lusaka yesterday started rationing power supply to mines, as Africa’s second-biggest copper producer struggles to meet electricity demand.
“Zambia was forced to cut generation capacity in May after water levels at the Kariba Dam and other sources of hydro power, fell after a prolonged drought.
“Last week state-owned power company Zesco said it was increasing the rationing of electricity for all its customers, including mining companies, due to a power deficit.”
From the foregoing, one may start thinking that it was due to the power outage that has rendered many South Africans jobless that might have indirectly instigated them to transfer their frustration and aggression on some Nigerians living there. To avoid serious job loss that has been occurring in different African countries experiencing power outage, there is need for the governments of such affected countries to wake up to their responsibilities of making power always available for the masses from now on.