Power Sector: Despite Privatisation, FG Spends Over N1.7trn In Three Years

The Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, chairs a Committee of NEC mandated to investigate the Ownership Structure of Power Distribution Companies in the country.

The Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, chairs a Committee of NEC mandated to investigate the Ownership Structure of Power Distribution Companies in the country / Photo credit: pmnewsnigeria.com
The Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, chairs a Committee of NEC mandated to investigate the Ownership Structure of Power Distribution Companies in the country / Photo credit: pmnewsnigeria.com

The Federal Government has spent over N1.7trn on the power sector in the last three years, an interim report submitted to the National Economic Council indicated on Thursday.

The Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, chairs a Committee of NEC mandated to investigate the Ownership Structure of Power Distribution Companies in the country.

The governor had briefed an expanded session of NEC comprising state governors, ministers and other stakeholders on the preliminary findings of the committee so far.

He said after meeting that the committee found out that the problems of the power sector were enormous and required declaring a “national emergency” to find solutions.

Speaking with State House Correspondents after the meeting, which was presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, the governor said in the last three years alone, N1.7tn of public funds had been pumped into a privatised sector.

“That is certainly not privatisation”, he stated.

According to him, the various stakeholders the committee met with admitted that there were problems because Nigerians had really not enjoyed improved power supply.

He stated further, “The full report will be ready soon, hopefully in February. The power sector is complicated and requires enormous time to really go to the root of the problems.

“Nigeria will go nowhere unless we have stable power. Right now, we shall invite members of the general public to also give their views by sending in memoranda to the committee. The owners of the power companies too, we will get their views.

“The objective is how do we fix the power sector?

El-Rufai noted that the committee had informed NEC that the problems ranged from lack of capacity, tariff issues to poor funding.

He added, “The problems in electricity are many, capacity is one, perhaps. There are some that have shown lack of capacity; it is true but there are many that are fantastic. So, it is very difficult to pass a quick judgment.

“There are other issues. The entire sector is broken, the tariff is an issue and the way the privatisation was done is an issue to many. What we have agreed on is that there are fundamental problems in the electronic supply industry. And that you cannot privatise an industry and then over three years since privatisation, you pump in N1.7tn of government into it. That is not privatization.

“So, solutions must be found; those solutions are not going to be nice, they may be painful but the only way to solve the structural problems in the industry is to take some very difficult decisions.”

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Sanusi is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria.

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