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Nigerians paying for electricity power not consumed —Reps

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Members of the House of Representatives, on Thursday, declared that the problem of the power sector in Nigeria lies in lack of policies that would make it function better.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Power, Magaji Aliyu, who led some committee members to the Annual General Meeting/Awards ceremony of the Association of Rural Electrification Contractors of Nigeria, said this while speaking on the side-lines of the event in Abuja.

Speaking on behalf of the team, Aliyu stated that findings by the committee had shown that many Nigerians were paying for electricity that they did not consume.

He said: “The power sector is in a big problem because of lack of efficient and dynamic policies. Let me give you an example: today, you will hear that a part of the Ministry of Power has been shifted to another organisation, which I believe is an aberration.

“I’ll give an example, at the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company there is war on where the organisation belongs; is it in power or finance ministry? There is an issue with the Hydropower Development Authority on whether it should be in the Presidency or the power ministry”.

Read also: World Bank lists Nigeria among countries with biggest electricity deficit

Speaking further, Aliyu said: “I believe that there are political machinations not to allow power grow in this country. There are machinations to interfere with the power sector generally. We have multidimensional problems.”

Also, he noted that the sector was faced with power distribution, generation and transmission problems, pointing out that some organisations were created under the power ministry without the knowledge of the minister.

“In this country, we still do what they call ‘take or pay’. Nigerians are paying for the electricity they did not take. We are paying for it. This is a very serious issue.

“But there must be a desired formula that the politics of it must allow the Ministry of Power to drive power process in this country. There are agencies that are supposed to be under the power ministry but they don’t report to the ministry now,” he said.

He stated that the Federal lawmakers would continue to engage the government, as many letters had been written to executive members and President Muhammadu Buhari on the need to make things work.

Aliyu spoke against claims that the lawmakers were interfering in the award of contracts for power projects, arguing that none of his team had done so.

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