Senate President Ahmad Lawan says there is need for the Federal Government to review or reverse the privatisation of the nation’s power sector.
Lawan said this recently while contributing to a motion on the “Power Sector Recovery Plan and the Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic” sponsored by Senator Gabriel Suswam (Benue North East).
Lawan said: “We gave them our common patrimony and they still come back as DisCos and GenCos to look for money from the public.
“The time has come to review and probably reverse this privatisation, if we leave them for the next 10 years there would be no power in Nigeria.
“Like I said before this motion was taken, the privatisation has so far not been successful.
“We expected efficiency, effectiveness in power supplies but probably on both sides, maybe the purchase agreements were not adhered to on both sides.
“What is obvious is that the DisCos particularly have no capacity at the moment to supply us power.
“The GenCos have challenges too. It is not good that we give them money we sold – these are businesses.
“If there are areas we must intervene as a government must be seriously justified.
“The way it is I think there is need to review this privatisation to see what has happened. Something is certainly not right.
“In the event that this thing does not work properly, there will be need for the government to look into it.”
Meanwhile the Senate after its debate on the motion resolved to “Commend the Federal Government for the proactive initiative to establish the N1.7 trillion COVID-19 Crisis Intervention Fund to cater for issues that are critical to effective management of the Pandemic and to stimulate gradual return to normal socio-economic activities in the country.
“Urge the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Finance to include the Nigerian Electric Power Sector in the disbursement of the proposed N500 billion COVID-19 Crisis Intervention Fund.
“This was in order to ameliorate the financial hazards and operational challenges such as the enumeration of metering of actual consumers and recent problem arising from the pandemic.
“Urge the Federal Government to suspend the planned tariff increase which is scheduled to take effect from 1st of July, 2020 bearing in mind the increased hardship resulting from the COVID-19 Pandemic.
“Mandate the Senate Committee on Power to investigate all Federal Government interventions in the power sector since the privatization of the sector to date with a view to ascertaining the adequacy of such interventions and other desired impact, and to report back within four weeks.
“Mandate the Senate Committee on Power to investigate all market participants in the power value chain and ascertain the level of corporate governance compliance in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) and to report back within four weeks.
“Urge the Central Bank of Nigeria to allow operators in the power sector access to foreign exchange for procurement and materials like what is done in the aviation and oil industry.
“Urge the Federal Government to consider additional tariff support to cushion the effect of rate shock over a fixed period to allow time required for TCN and DisCos to access funds and implement performance improvements investments that will support increased tariffs to certain classes of customers especially during the pandemic.”