Senate debates power sector crisis


Fresh but hard facts emerged yesterday on Nigeria’s ailing power sector at the Senate as senators submitted that the sector is in a comatose situation and in dire need of an emergency response.

The lawmakers said that because the distribution companies are bankrupt and cannot procure meters, the entire privatisation of the power sector should be revisited.

These submissions were made at a debate on a motion sponsored by Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi West) on how frustration in the power sector is further sabotaging efforts at reviving the economy.

Melaye had in his motion said that years after the privatisation of the power sector, the distribution companies (Discos) handling the retailing and marketing of electricity in the industry have not been able to effectively meter their customers, thereby leaving millions of them at their mercy through estimate billings.

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Chairman, Senate Committee on Privatisation, Ben Murray Bruce, said there was no solution to electricity crisis in Nigeria for now.

He, therefore, recommended that the Senate should prevail on the Federal Government to revisit the privatisation.

According to him: “Those who invested in the business thought it was a company where they will make a lot of money. I believe they only had enough money to pay the Federal Government and make the initial investment.”

Also, Mustapha Burkar (APC, Katsina State) noted that Nigeria is sitting on emergency in the power sector because all the measures that had been adopted were not working.

In another development, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has urged the Federal Government to develop a novelty mechanism of providing regular and affordable energy for the economic and industrial development of the country.

The UNIDO Representative to ECOWAS and Regional Director, Nigeria Regional Office Hub, Jean Bakole, stated this during his visit to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, to acquaint him with the organisation’s programme in Nigeria.