Senate President Bukola Saraki has attributed the poor performance of the power sector to errors in the privatisation process, saying “nobody appears willing to tackle the issue head-on”.
Addressing his colleagues at the end of a three-week break on Tuesday, Saraki faulted the model through which the sector is being operated.
He said the senate had taken it upon itself to find a solution to the “crippling power deficit”.
“Distinguished colleagues, before we left for the break, myself and a select few met with stakeholders in the power sector to get an understanding of why no progress has been made thus far, despite the best intention; and the revelations were mind-boggling,” he said.
“There had been errors in the privatisation process and the model by which the power sector is being operated – whether at generation or distribution – will never take us where we need to be. It has failed and nobody appears willing to tackle the issue head-on in order to bring about a permanent resolution.
“I have mandated the senate committee on power to continue the consultation with the relevant parties to forge a path to solving our crippling power deficit. After all, if we are going to drive Nigerian industry, we need to resolve this and fast.”
He said the upper legislative chamber would pass the 2017-2019 medium term expenditure framework (MTEF) and fiscal strategy paper (FSP) by the end of the week.
Saraki explained that this would enable the senate commence debate on the 2017 budget estimates.
“It is therefore imperative that we immediately begin work earnestly on the MTEF to ensure passage by the end of the week. In this way, consideration and debate on the 2017 budget will immediately follow in the three sitting days of the next week,” he said.
“It is our hope that we will with this budget begin the implementation of the report of the committee on budget reforms, which has since submitted its report. This will enable more Nigerians participate in the budget consideration process, deepen the review and create the necessary efficiencies we expect from our budget implementation.”
He condemned the killings in southern Kaduna, saying: “The senate will not pay lip service to it, neither will it sit idly by and watch innocent Nigerians being slaughtered on the basis of their religion, ethnic group or political persuasion.”
Saraki called on the Kaduna state government to use its authority and constitutional mandate to bring the violence to an end.