…Gives insight into why power supply remains erratic
By Victor Ahiuma-Young
Organised Labour in the nation’s Power Industry, has written to the new Minister of Power, Engineer Saleh Mamman, welcoming him to the sector and setting agenda on generation, transmission and distribution of electricity for him.
In a letter by the National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, dated August 22, 2019, Labour also gave the new minister insight into why power supply remained erratic in the country.
NUEE in the letter by its General Secretary, Joe Ajaero, while congratulating Mamman on his appointment into the Ministry, urged him not to behave like his predecessor in office who came into the Ministry, slept and left.
According to NUEE, “As you are posted into this Ministry, we urge you to consult with all stakeholders, go into fact finding to know the ills of the Sector to enable you operate from position of knowledge unlike your predecessor in the ministry. Besides, you should be weary of bureaucrats who miss-advice Ministers. Your predecessor, Fashola came with legion of ignorance; hence the workers which we represent told him that we will not meet with him or see his face until he leaves the sector. He left without the knowledge of the Sector.
“Fashola came into the sector with a 4,000MW generation capacity and he is leaving today with a generation capacity of 3,500MW. He will be remembered for coming into the sector and claiming to know when he doesn’t know and for holding town hall meetings that never produced any solution but gulped millions of naira that would have been used to improve power generation, transmission and distribution in the Country.
“Honorable minister sir, please note that this sector is full of hawks and vultures whose interest is how to siphon the little resources therein. It is made up of powerful individuals who have hijacked the power sector without any contribution towards its development. In the course of your assumption, please attempt to answer these questions: Nigerians would want to know if privatization is the policy of the APC, government.
“Nigerians want to know if the APC is sustaining the privatization policy of the PDP or it has a different policy. Nigerians want to know those who bought the Power Sector, their expertise and what they have contributed in the sector, in the last six (6) years.
Nigerians want to know why the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has reduced itself to a tariff commission whose duty is to inflict more pains on “Nigerians in terms of incessant tariff increase, even in the face of current economic downturn. Nigerians want to know if government sold both Core and Non-Core assets at the cost of Core Assets only. Nigerians want to know the dividend of government’s 40% ownership in the privatized Companies, in the last six (6) years and the ignoble role played by BPE in the whole drama.
“As you assume duty today, we want you to fashion out policy documents of this government as far as generation, transmission and distribution of electricity is concerned as well as the ownership structure. The world would like to know why privatization in the electricity sector suddenly translates to “public disaster and private gains. We welcome you to the sector of “the more you look, the less you see”.