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How to attain stable power supply in Nigeria –Stakeholders



Padding resurrects in 2017 budget as Fashola rejects N2bn insertion

For Nigeria to come out of its present epileptic electricity supply, government must allow full privatization of the power sector, stakeholders have stated.

Speakers at the just concluded West Africa Power Industry Convention (WAPIC) conference in Lagos, frowned at the situation whereby government has deliberately placed a cog in the wheel of progress when it allowed privatization of the sector to only affect generation and distribution, while transmission process is still in its control.

They maintained that in other countries where the private sector was allowed to take over the running of the process, there was a full hands-off by government.

The chief executive officer, Greynstich Company, an energy outfit said: “there is no way the anticipated service delivery will be perfect until a level playing field is provided for all the operators in the sector.

“It appears that policy makers were only interested in transferring the burden of NEPA and PHCN to any investor, as our experience has turned out to be.”

Though he refused to give further detail, when contacted on this, his summary showed that the two sub-unit; generation and distribution were the ones that have almost direct dealing with consumers, most of who are owing the former and present companies huge unpaid bills.

This was confirmed when the Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, said the discos did wrong by taking space in the media to advertise that government was owing them more than N50 billion in unpaid bills.

He said the bills ascribed to government agencies and department were yet to be corrected having come from estimated bills.

Read also: SERAP challenges CJN to look into $16bn Obj spent on power

But the operators have said that if the transmission unit of the sector is allowed to be private sector-driven, most disputes over selective service delivery to TCN would no longer be there.

Another operator, and a director with Mestech Company, Ganiu Afolabi, said there were still applications of interest from firms wishing to buy the transmissions company, but government had refused to let that go.

“More than 20 companies have sent indications, to the best of my knowledge, to invest on transmission, but the sector report then said Nigria was not yet matured for that, whereas there is nothing to threaten security from the processes of monitoring volume of power generated by various Discos for the benefits of the entire system,” he said.

All the commentators were in agreement that until government sincerely support total privatization, Nigeria’s dream of having improved power supply would be a mirage.
By Emma Eke….

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