Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state says the power problems in Nigeria may persist unless the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is restructured to enable potential energy private investors to come into the power sector. The governor, speaking at the second edition of the national council on power which held in Kaduna on Thursday, July 14, faulted the decision of NERC to reduce electricity tariff in March last year, saying it was done to help Goodluck Jonathan win election. He described the last administration’s power reforms as a failure, adding that the reforms dragged when and the country is back to where it was in 2001-2002, where it is generating the same amount of electricity.
He said: “We did not attract any foreign investment into the sector because the regulatory frame work is not working and lacks credibility.’’ “But unfortunately, those that came after us politicized the appointments and put people that lack the capacity, the knowledge or the com- petence to regulate the sector.”
The governor passed a vote of confidence on the minister of power, works and housing, Babatunde Fashola. He appealed to Fashola to ensure that the people appointed to NERC are professionals without any political linkages. He said: “That’s is the only way the sector will attract private investment, and we all know that we cannot solve electricity problems with government money alone.
We need private investment,’’ he pointed out. El-rufai noted that Kaduna State needs 1, 000 mega watts but “we get only 200 mega watts. Until, we learn to use what we have efficiently, this outages will continue to be a problem. “Any community that we find with sizable number of people, we are trying to deploy solar power to them, so that they are off grid and have reliable electricity,’’ he said, adding that “that is the strategy we are working on.
Meanwhile, the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II has said that virtually all arms of the electricity value chain has been taken away from the control of Babatunde Fashola, the minister of power, works and housing. Sanusi stated this during a stakeholders’ workshop on Road Transport Management and Mass Transit Operations in Nigeria, organised by the Federal Ministry of Transportation in Abuja on Wednesday, July 13. He said the minister cannot be blamed for the poor power supply in the country because most of the organs relating to power supply are no more under his control.