Power Sector Reform; Stakeholders Frowns At Injection Of N3trn

Power Sector Reform; Stakeholders Frowns At Injection Of N3trn

By Paul Effiong, Abuja

Critical Stakeholders and organised Labour yesterday frowned at an injection of another N3 trillion by the Federal Government into the privatised electricity companies owned by individuals, without commesurate increase in power generation over the past 10 years.

Stakehilders made their decision known yesterday during a public hearing on a bill to amend Electric Power Sector Reform Act, 2005 to provide the legal and institutional framework for the implementation and coordination of Rural Electrification projects, establishment of the National Power Training Institute and Regulatory provisions to strengthen the sector for efficient services delivery and for related matters’, organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Power held at National Assembly Complex in Abuja.

Speaking during the event, the Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Power Hon.Aliyu Magaji disagreed with stakeholders against states agitating for power generation and distribution.He noted that as lawmakers they are in position to make sure whether or not the action of the Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF is in consonant with the law and constitutional framework.

“They think and feel that there is a constitutional provision that gives them the right to form a regulatory agency”.

He explained.According to the Chairman,”NGF also wants each state to generate and distribute power across state of the federation”.

Reacting to another question on what his Committee intends to do with the recommendations from NGF, the chairman said, ” as a committee we have received their documents, we shall look at it thoroughly and decide the next steps to take.

He also reacted to power generation and distribution in Lagos State promising to critically cross-check all the facts as well as the constitutional requirement on the matter to establish whether or not they are right or wrong.

“Our intension as a committee is not to go after anybody but to break the monopoly adding that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is very clear on power generation and control.”

Consequently, the chairman also used the opportunity to advise Nigerians to be patient with him and his Committee assuring that they are determined to do the needful on power sector Reform in the country for the betterment of all.

Also speaking on the matter was a General Secretary/CEONational Union of Electricity Employees, Comrade Joe Ajaero who disclosed that their position on privatization is clear, expressing worried about the proposed amendments which he observed are critical based on market forces whether private and public.

He explained that having tried privatization for ten years, and we are doing just the amendment of sections of the act and even the review provision in the act which gives provision for the review of the sector after five years and we have written consistently and it has not happened.

“This acts, are we really obeying it?” If there is provision for review after five years,and Nigerians are groaning, consistently Nigerians are complaining and we say privatization was based on the fact that government doesn’t have any business in it and government is pumping in money to an individuals business”.

The labour leader further stated that almost three trillion naira has been pumped into thee power sector which wasn’t there when it was owned by the government even as he emphasized that Government has no business in business.

“That is why we came here to say the laws we made by ourselves, we can pause and look at it and move on. Since nobody has to talk about reversion of privatization, but let’s us see how it can ft us.

Tags assigned to this article:
Labourpower sector