By Ben Agande
Abuja— Federal Government, yesterday, in Abuja, said despite the investment in the power sector, only 25 percent of Nigerians currently had access to electricity.
After a meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo, told newsmen that the power situation in the country in the last three weeks had been a “nightmare” due to a combination of system failure and sabotage.
Similarly, Minister of State for Power, Hajia Zainab Kuchi, said out of the estimated population of 160 million Nigerians, only 40 million Nigerians enjoyed electricity, arguing that with the investment in the sector, the number of Nigerians who would have access to steady electricity was expected to rise rapidly.
The duo spoke after presenting the progress report of the power sector to FEC.
Nebo said: “The power situation in the last three weeks is a nightmare. We have not had the kind of system failure like we have had in the last three weeks. For instance, Bayelsa State was knocked out for three weeks as a result of a breakdown on one of the transmission lines.
“It took about 12 days to restore power in the state using temporary measures. Another one happened in Kebbi. There is also man-made vandalism. Funding is part of the nightmare we are facing.
“It was thought that by 2012 the privatisation would have been completed, so there was no provision for maintenance in the budget. It has become very difficult for even routine maintenance to be carried out.”
He defended his allegation, during his screening for the ministerial appointment, that there were evil forces working against stable power supply in the country.