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An exclusive interview with Oti Ikomi, Exec Vice-Chairman & CEO of Proton Energy Ltd. At the upcoming Future Energy Nigeria, he is part of a panel discussion on “What is working and what needs to be changed to reach a financially viable electricity sector?”

Let’s start with some background on your organisation, Proton Energy Africa.
Proton Energy Ltd is developing a 150MW gas-fired power plant in Sapele, Nigeria with financial close mid-2019.

Any success stories so far that you can share?
Support from partners including Siemens as equipment suppliers and AIIM (Old Mutual) as the equity partner.

We have cleared our site and already contributed to local employment, will do more during construction later in 2019.

In your view, what are the challenges in the energy sector in the region?
The goal posts keep moving in Nigeria and there could be more cooperation, information sharing and resolve by power public sector counterparts to ensure a sustainable, viable sector.

How optimistic are you about business opportunities in Nigeria’s energy future?
The prognosis is unhelpful but in a country with 180 million people and only 5000MW on the grid, the power market is a no-brainer and would occur. However, delays are creating investor fatigue.

At the upcoming Future Energy Nigeria, you are part of a panel discussion on “What is working and what needs to be changed to reach a financially viable electricity sector?” –what will be your message at the event?
Let the Power Sector Reform Plan (PSRP) be the key driver of the sector. Government officials must collectively and coordinately embrace. If the plan needs adjustment, so be it. But do it. Consumer tariffs must be re-set, together with other measures.

What are you most looking forward to at Future Energy Nigeria?
Contributing to ensuring projects reach financial close in the Nigerian power sector.

Anything you would like to add?
The private sector is ready. Government and the public sector should match intent and words with action, we simply need immediate action.