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Nigeria loses $29bn every year to power sector failure –Senate



Nigeria loses on average, the sum of $29 billion yearly to failure of the power sector, Senate President Ahmed Lawan has said.

He made the disclosure on Monday at the opening of an investigative public hearing on “Power Sector Recovery Plan and the Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic.”

Lawan called on the organisers of the event, the Senate Committee on Power, to closely review the power sector privatisation agreement signed in 2013.

“Some authorities say we lose about $29bn every year because of lack of sufficient and stable power. That is equivalent of what our people are supposed to earn.

“The purpose of privatisation is not for the government to wash away his hand, to run away from responsibilities.

“It’s an admission by the government that, first, it doesn’t have the resources required to move this sector forward. And it is also believed that investors who would come to invest in that sector would have the financial capacity and muscle.”

Read also: Senate facilitated generation of additional N320bn revenue in the last 1 year –Lawmaker

Mr Lawan stated that the National Assembly desired to see a power industry that would deliver regular electricity because it is what the country needs.

In 2013, the Power Holding Company of Nigeria was unbundled, leading to the emergence of six power generation companies (Gencos), 11 distribution companies (Discos) as well as the Transmission Company of Nigeria.

“When you have privatisation, you have Share Purchase Agreement. This investigation should look at what has happened.

“What are the responsibilities and the obligations of the Federal Government in the Share Purchase Agreement. What is the Bureau of Public Enterprises supposed to do.

“And equally and very important, what are the successful investors who were given 11 Discos and six Gencos supposed to do and within which time framework,” the Senate President said.

He affirmed that government should not be giving free money, noting that around N1.8 trillion had been given to Discos, an amount he believed could have been given to the Gencos.

“N1.8tn is a huge amount of money. Is it part of the Share Purchase Agreement that we should be giving this kind of money or what are we supposed to do as a government. What is our obligation?

“I will advise the executive here; next time, if there will be any next time to give such money; bring it to the National Assembly for approval,” he said.

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