BY FESTUS AHON
UGHELLI-THE Federal Government, yesterday, restated its commitment to the continuous funding of the power sector before its eventual privatization.
Chairman, House of Representative Committee on Power, Mr. Patrick Ikhariale, who stated this during a working visit of members of the committee to the Ughelli and Sapele power stations, maintained that the Federal Government was prepared to encourage anything that would bring about improved power generation, tranmisssion and distribution to Nigerians.
Commenting on the planned privatization of the power sector, Ikhariale said, “If properly managed with everything put in place, a lot will be gained from deregulating the energy sector.
“We already have a lot of independent power plants scattered around the country. I am sure here in the Niger Delta, we have over seven of such IPP projects and some of them have already started contributing to the national grid.
“With the coming into being of the IPP to complement whatever is produced by way of generation, transmission and distribution, it is only reasonable to expect that in no distant time, we will have a better power supply in the country, if we follow the processes and procedures with some source of care.
“There is no where in the world where government is solely responsible for the generation, transmission and distribution of energy and Nigeria not an exception. Government should take advantage and tap into what others have done and the success stories that others have achieved in that direction.”
He disagreed with insinuations in some quarters that privatization of the sector would lead to loss of jobs, pointing out that “like the telecommunication sector, privatization of the energy sector could create a lot of jobs.”
Earlier in his remarks, the Chief Eexecutive Officer of the Ughelli power station, Mr. A. Adeniyi, noted that the Delta IV GE machines has effective and functional system, which was being used to regulate the power frequency within reasonable values.
“This has contributed to the system stability experienced in the last two months or so,” he added.