Nigeria may not get significant benefits from a whopping N2.7 trillion spendings by the Federal Government on the power sector since 1999 to date if a definite measure is not taken to address the challenges facing the sector, Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara has said.
Dogara disclosed this while declaring open an investigative public hearing on the activities of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) conducted by the House Committee on Power at the National Assembly on Tuesday.
The Speaker, who was represented by the deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Yusuf Sulaiman Lasun, said the power sector was critical to the economic growth of the country, while lamenting that despite the huge sums of money spent in the last 16 years, recurring challenges still persist in the sector.
“The power sector is critical to the economic health of our nation, the reason being that: electricity drives modern life as we know it today. It is difficult to imagine life without electricity.
“The sector has enjoyed substantial government investment over the decades. In fact, from 1999 to date, the federal government has spent an astonishing 2.7 trillion in the sector, and yet teething challenges persist.
“It is obvious that if definite action is not taken to correct the hiccups, we would not make any significant gains. It is thus the duty of all stakeholders to work together to enable our country get it right in the power sector,” Dogara said.
He noted that if properly managed, the sector can set Nigeria on the path of rapid industrialization, development and growth, adding that, in fact, it has the undisputed potential to transform the country from its present Third World status to that of a Developed Nation.
“Events in the sector are therefore treated with utmost seriousness by the legislature,” he added.