FOLLOWING the federal governmentâ€™s decision to boost electricity generation nationwide to 6000Megawatts (MW) by December 2009, the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) has come under intense lobbying from politicians and contractors across the country for the purposes of cornering subsequent awards contracts for actualisation of the project
The situation has continued to cause some stir amongst the high echelon of the power utility company, especially those who does not seem to stand any chance of benefit from the ongoing contracts bids and awards.
Sweet crude reliably gathered that calls have started coming in from highly placed Nigerians and government officials introducing one company over the other, and in this regard both members of the National Assembly and the Ministry of Power are all involved in the lobby fo jobs and contract awards.
Specifically some members of the House of representatives committee on power, Chaired by the embattled Ndudi Elumelu were also fingered as having lobbied for contracts award to generate the much publicized 6000Mw.
A close source at the utility company who spoke on the condition of anonymity told Vanguard that the situation in the PHCN regarding this 6000Mw by the end of the year is so pathetic as it has been politicized.
He further told sweet crude that the embattled House of Representative member has been harassing top functionaries of the power company to award some contracts to him lest he comes down hard on them and this situation has continued since he was released on bail by the Economic Financial and Crimes Commission (EFCC).
â€œThe situation is so bad that every body has an interest.Â Elumelu for instance would want the entire PHCN operational properties to be at his beck and call whenever he so desires.Â When he celebrated his birthday for instance, all PHCN zones nationwide were falling over themselves to please him by ensuring the availability of official vehicles and other logistic equipments to ensure a smooth and high powered celebration.
We can not move forward in this manner, when the same man would come on National television to abuse the power company and his officials for wastage of funds.â€
He also noted that the embattled House member is also working frantically to ensure that a PHCN district office is established in Isele-Uku area of Delta state where he hails from, while a district is in Asaba which less that 15 minutes from the area and conveniently services the place.
According to him, this smacks of undue favoritism as there are several area in Nigeria that has no supply of electricity, by their geographical location should be more considered for a district office than the home town of the Chairman.
He lamented that every politician that comes into power knows the major issues affecting the power sector and instead of tackling these issues head-on all they do is ensure that they leave the sector in a more terrible state than they had met it.Â â€œYou see them campaigning and using the sector as a campaign tool, telling Nigerians that immediately their government is voted into power they would revamp the sector in little or no time and would work with stakeholders in the sector to ensure that Nigerians get uninterrupted power supply. This is simply because they know that Nigerians are so passionate about this things, hence they are the ones that would be taken for a ride as this much needed power supply would hardly come.â€
â€œInterestingly all this seems to be happening even as the federal government appears to have directed all ministries and agencies to return unspent funds to its coffers by the end of July or thereabout.Â And up until now they are still inviting to tender. so where is the seriousness and commitment if they want all unspent monies at so short a time, when they are aware that the projects are just about to get started?â€Â And why are the Chief Executive Officers of PHCN being summoned to Abuja almost on a daily basis? he queried.
According to him the CEOâ€™s have been taken off their primary responsibility of superintending their various zones and ensuring the availability of electricity power for their teeming customers, and all they do now is attend meetings every day in Abuja such that they hardly have time for what happens in the zones.Â Is that how Nigeria intends to get the much talked about 6000Mw? he asked.
Another stakeholder in the sector who declined to have his name in print told Sweetcrude that the simply analysis of the 6000 Mw is that for them to achieve such a feat by December there need to be something substantial on ground now. According to him if weâ€™re currently generating the installed power capacity of 4000 Mw nationwide by now, then it would not be out of place for someone to conclude that before the end of the year , and with intense effort, the government can get as much as the publicized 6000Mw, rather than the current situation where the country has less than 2000Mw in July and is aiming at 6000 by December without any viable project ongoing five months to deadline.