Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has spoken of the serious problems in the nation’s power sector and the inability of the private investors in the sector to turn things around, saying four years was not enough to change what could not be done in 60 years in the electricity distribution sector.
Fashola, at the third edition of National Council on Power with the theme, “Complementing Power Sector Reforms” in Jos, said: “As we are all aware, there have been comments about how effective privatisation has been in the power sector and some people have called for its cancellation, which I disagree with.
“Let me set the context by once again reminding all of us that the power sector has been privatised and is largely in the hands of the private sector. Therefore, the work that needs to be done is largely the responsibility of the private sector.”
He added, “Our role as governmental institutions at Federal and state levels is to implement the laws, enunciate policies and take actions that help the private sector play its part effectively.
“Our roles in this regard are well set out in the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005 pursuant to which the privatisation of the power sector took place. That law, which I urge everybody to read, clearly sets out my role as minister, which is to administer the law in Section 100.”
According to Fashola, “I agree that there are problems, I understand that four years post-privatisation is a transition period, and some more work needs to be done before the expected benefits of privatisation come to fruition.
“That is why we developed the Power Sector Recovery Programme (PSRP), which are a set of policies, programmes and actions aimed at solving generation, transmission, distribution, liquidity, metering, estimated billing, energy theft, safety and other challenges.
“While we are beginning to see results of increased generation up to 7001MW on September 12, 2017, Transmission up to 6,700 MW and Distribution 4,600, it is not yet enough.”
The minister lamented that stealing and vandalism of electricity equipment were part of the challenges that Distribution Companies or Discos were faced with, which has invariably affected their ability to perform at full capacity.