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Power Reform Hearing: Senate calls for Synergy

The Senate has urged the various bodies and agencies directly and indirectly associated with the Nigerian pub hearing powerPower Sector to be more coordinated and interdependent if there must be progress in the sector that will inevitably lead to sustainable development in the country.

Speaking at the second day of an investigative hearing into the management of funds appropriated to the Power sector since 1999 and the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), a member of the Senate adhoc committee on Power, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, lamented the utter lack of coordination among the bodies and agencies that control the Power sector such as the transmission companies, the generation companies, the distribution companies, the Bureau of Public Enteprise (BPE) and various fiscal agencies that were not only involved in the privatisation of that sector but in the subsequent running of its affairs and the general management of power infrastructure.

Senator Abdullahi who emphatically stated that poverty in any country is always associated with the unavailability of power and energy said that it is not necessary of us as a country to be singing about 3000 megawatts of energy when the same infrastructure has the ability to generate 20,000 megawatts. He also said that Federal Ministry of Power is indeed a ‘powerless’ ministry because the aforementioned coordination is lacking among the associated groups as could be seen from the very diverse, dissimilar, divergent and conflicting reports of the same issues (especially with regards to various monies received and disbursed). He stressed the need for thoroughness in the operations of these groups while also charging the BPE to take a moral stand (not just a technical one) in ensuring that the Nigerian Government and Nigerians in general are not in any way short-changed.

The chairman of the committee, Senator Abubaka Kyari concurred with his counterparts and other members of the committee and specifically wondered why Nigeria has still not exceeded its current level of power generation despite all the investments made by the Federal Government.

Defending its stance on its role in the transactions made in the privatisation of the power sector, the Director General of the Bureau of Public enterprise, Engineer Benjamin Ezra Dikki, said that the BPE had to strike a reasonable balance between the Federal Government and the investors during its negotiations as it would be unwise and unfair in a business sense for any of the party to suffer any loss. He also distanced the BPE from the direct operations of the companies in the power sector explaining that the role of the BPE was basically privatising the sector. He however did not fail to acknowledge the hard work, determination and input made by the private companies as could be seen in the significant increase and evident sustainability of the amount of power generated in the country since November 2013 (up from about 2700 to 4000 megawatts).

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The Senate | Federal Republic of Nigeria | National Assembly Complex | Three Arms Zone, PMB 141, Abuja | Nigeria