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Nigerians tire over lawmakers fruitless power probe

Saturday, 6 June 2020


A cross-section of Nigerians has expressed disgust over lawmakers fruitless probe of energy contracts, as the House of Representatives Committee on Power, says the House has concluded plans to investigate all privatisation in the power sector, to ensure that the challenges being presently faced are resolved.

“The probe of the power sector has finally become ritualistic. The 7th Assembly scrutinised the executives over transactions in the energy sector. The 8th Assembly did exactly the same; and now, the 9th (National) Assembly!”, an importer, Anthony Emeordi told the Maritime First at Apapa, Lagos, lamenting that each probe had been fruitless and useless like the one before it.

Speaking further, Emeordi tasked some of the current lawmakers who were in the 8th Assembly to enlighten the members of the 9th Assembly on what transpired before, furnishing them with relevant documents where necessary, rather than embarking on another wild, fruitless and useless probe.

Speaking in the same vein, a woman trader at Gbagi Market in Ibadan, Mrs. Sade Agboola mocked the proposed probe, stressing that Nigerians have begun to see the ‘ritualistic’ probes as ‘food for the boys’ game, noting that electricity supply in Nigeria, despite the constancy of probes, is not only abysmally low, but totally discouraging.

“Every regime has played on our intelligence, voting stupendous and criminal billions towards providing electricity which has forever remain a mirage!

“Anyone who has not learnt, will never learn again! There’s no difference! All of them have remained the same!”, the woman trader said again, stressing that Nigerians no longer expect anything remarkable, in the light of electricity, even from the Buhari government.

“Didn’t even this government say they would do magic within the first six months? Have they done anything different? Even now, five years after Buhari takes over, we are still going to mosques to pray that NEPA should give us Pre-paid meters! Is that not so?”, she asked, wondering why every regime, in the area of electricity supply had been worse than the one before it.

One respondent in Ibadan, an IPMAN member, Pastor Bolutife Egbewole however praised President Muhammadu Buhari, noting that his administration has witnessed a sincere improvement in power supply.

In the meantime, Rep. Magaji Aliyu, Chairman of the Committee said on Friday in Abuja when he led other members on an oversight function to the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

“The house has just been mandated to investigate all power sector privatisation from the public enterprises to the Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos).

“This will commence by next week so that the issue of no power will be solved and Nigerians get value for their money

“The complexity of this sector is enormous when TCN has capacity to wheel  10,000 megawatts and the Distribution Companies (DisCos do not take more than 3,000.

“Why we are paying for undelivered capacity in billions of naira, something has to change,” he said.

Aliyu also urged the management of TCN to ensure that Nigerian engineers were patronised in the execution of projects in the sector.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has signed an Executive Order aimed at boosting the domestic production of goods and creating jobs in science, technology and engineering in the country.

“The President has signed the order that no project should be given to any foreign company unless there is no Nigerian company

“My committee will look into this very seriously to ensure the order is carried out as we will not support any contract given out to foreign companies no matter how technical.

“There can be a technical partnership as we must protect Nigerians and Nigerian businesses,” he said.

He urged the management of TCN to work with NASS, adding that the members were ready to assist them to achieve their goals.

Responding, the Acting Managing Director of TCN, Mr Sule Abdulaziz said that there was the need to strengthen the transmission sector by ensuring critical transformation of the existing system.

According to Abdulaziz, the government, regulator and TCN management will all play key roles in ensuring the transformation of the power sector.

“With the government taking the lead to create the right investment while TCN focus on implementing new technology, faster projects execution and improving operational efficiencies,” he said.

According to him, Members as representatives of the people and legislators have important roles to play by ensuring that the populace they represent have sufficient and qualitative power supply

He said that ensuring a qualitative power supply to all constituencies would boost economic growth in the country.

“In order to drive growth in capacity utilisation, the immediate focus of the new TCN management will be on repairing existing equipment which are failing and prone to breakdowns.

“Regular, proactive maintenance processes will be institutionalised to reduce the occurrence and impact of breakdowns.

‘We are also going to prioritise on expanding our capacity via new projects that will span across the entire nation.

“These are some of the considerations that will help in achieving the goal in improving the performance of the transmission sector,’’ the TCN boss said.
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