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Blame FG for power sector woes, stakeholders tell Nigerians

By Kingsley Jeremiah, Abuja
30 November 2022   |   4:17 am
Electricity stakeholders have said the lack of sanctity of contract and sincerity on the part of the Federal Government were the critical factors that frustrated the projected objectives of the power sector years after privatization.

Electricity stakeholders have said the lack of sanctity of contract and sincerity on the part of the Federal Government were the critical factors that frustrated the projected objectives of the power sector years after privatization.

They insisted that the Federal Government conducted road shows across the world for investors only to backpedal on the key pillars that would have led to the growth of the sector.

The players, who converged at a media workshop organised by the Power Correspondents Association of Nigeria (PCAN) in Abuja said the sector is currently buried in corruption and gross lack of respect for contracts.

The stakeholders, which included players from the distribution, transmission and generation segment were open enough to admit that corruption is currently at its worst in the sector.

The experts noted that unless the media report the sector adequately, the prevailing situation may worsen. On the epileptic national grid, Transmission Company of Nigerian (TCN) said both the DisCos and GenCos have a hand in the performance of the grid.

TCN General Manager, System Planning, Kabiru Adamu noted that the strength of the grid is still a challenge. Asked if the grid is still fragile, he admitted, “Yes, we can say for now it is fragile because there are things that fortify or make the grid resilient, and those factors cut across all the members of the value chain, both on the generation side and also the transmission side. All three of them have factors that contribute to the resilience of the grid that either make it fragile or make it sick.”

Adamu, who was on the same panel with players in the DisCos and GenCos stated that the two bodies needed to play their parts, otherwise the grid won’t perform optimally.

Adamu said TCN has the obligation of ensuring the reliability and resilience of the grid to withstand the dynamics of the system but that some of the obligations were yet to be met.

According to him, the company has embarked on grid expansion with the installations of some substations to ensure reliability of the transmission lines in terms of responding to all the redundancy that is required in case of outage on one circuit.

The managing director of Azura, Edu Okeke, said all parties in the power sector must live up to expectations, especially the government. Okeke said what was pitched to investors before the power sector was privatized is totally the opposite of what the sector has turned out to be.

“Until we go back to where we started, nothing will happen,” Okeke said, adding that the promises made to the world were not met.

“You cannot run away from what you promised the world and expect wonder to happen. Until you correct the mistakes, no investor will come here,” he added.

Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) Sunday Oduntan, noted that failure to respect the sanctity contract and corruption were the issues in the power sector. He said that there was a need to run a power sector that would be free from corruption.

Also speaking, the general manager, Public Affairs at the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr Usman Abba-Arabi, said the place of media in the electricity market was vital.

He said, “We are proud of the media, and we assure you of our support as part of the market participants to ensure that we grow the electricity market.”