Senate investigates N1.8tr FG intervention in power sector
The senate committee on power yesterday said it was probing over N1.8tr Federal Government’s interventions in the power sector at various times that have failed to yield the desired impact of improving power supply.
It said it will also unravel causes of insolvency in the power sector despite the intervention, reorder the trend by making it solvent and attractive to investors.
It would be recalled that the Federal Government had consistently intervened at various times with huge sums of money running to almost N1.8Tr yet there has been no improvement in the sector.
Again the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, had, last month, said the privatization of the power sector had failed and asked the Federal Government to reverse it.
Lawan said despite several interventions by the federal government running into trillions of Naira, there was no improvement of power supply.
He said if the country maintained the current system for ten years, it can never guarantee a regular power supply.
Hence the senate mandated its committee on power to investigate all Federal Government’s intervention in the sector since the privatization of the sector till date to ascertain the adequacy of such intervention and their desire impact.
They are also expected to investigate all market participants in the power sector value chain and ascertain the level of corporate governance compliance in the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).
The chairman of the committee Senator Gabriel Suswan in his opening remarks at the meeting of the committee to discuss ‘Power sector Recovery plan and the impact of COVID-19 pandemic said the Federal Government first intervened with 201billion followed by another N213billion, N701Billion and N600b.
He said the latest intervention of N380b came this been given yet what Nigerians are getting is between 3000 and 4000 MGW of electricity.
“That money has ran into almost two trillion. One would expect ordinarily that there should be an improvement from where we were. That improvement has not come that is why we want to know why.”
“That is why we are inviting all stakeholders who are concerned to come before the senate and explain o Nigerians what has happened to the huge sums of money that has been sunk into the sector ”
According to him, “It would be recalled that the senate had a motion on the floor about a week ago when the committee on power was mandated to investigate comprehensively the power sector especially in areas as it relates to intervention.
He said in line with their mandate they were holding the meeting to take resolution and invite all stakeholders in the power supply industry.
The chairman said the committee has therefore invited the ministry of power, the Ministry of Finance, the bureau of public enterprises and the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET).
Others are Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Generation Companies (GenCos), Distribution Companies (DisCos) and the Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO).
Suswan indicated that the Senate investigation is not going to be punitive, but intended to among other objectives identify the reasons for its inefficiency and underperformance in terms of unstable and inadequate electricity supply in the power sector in spite of the huge financial interventions by the Federal Government.
He said they are also to assist President Muhammadu Buhari to achieve his promise to Nigerians of providing them with adequate and stable power supply.
He said they may wish to know why Nigerians are not receiving stable and adequate power supply.
Other objectives of the investigation he said is to determine the actual cost of producing a kilowatt of electricity and the actual generation/installed capacity of the nation’s power plants as well as the wheeling capacity of the TCN.
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