…Rues sector players’ insufficient investment
By Chris Ochayi
The Federal Government, Saturday, expressed concerns that in spite of huge resources sunk into the power sector, not much improvement has been recorded in the five years of the privatisation of the power assets.
It regretted that instead of the citizens enjoying constant electricity supply, the nation’s electricity industry was characterised with daunting challenges of regulatory inconsistency, liquidity crisis and under capitalisation.
Speaking after a fitness exercise tagged, “Nigeria electricity awareness walk” in Abuja, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Transitions Company of Nigeria, TCN, Mr. Usman Gur Mohammed said the sector was beleaguered with crisis, which according to him was not good for the country.
The walk was organised by the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, in conduction with other stakeholders in the Nigerian electricity Industry was primarily designed to highlight the need for Nigerians to see sustainable development and growth of electricity industry as a national issue.
Mr. Mohammed, however, called concerted efforts and synergy between the major stakeholders to chart a course towards the liberalisation of the sector.
However, most citizens knowingly or ignorantly are daily contributing to the crisis confronting the sector. There is also wide perception that only those working directly in the sector that are responsible for the sector.
Nigeria electricity industry was liberalised where private sector players took majority ownership of distribution and generation sub sector. However, the well thought reform is yet to resolve.
He said under capitalisation, liquidity crisis, regulatory consistency and constant supply of electricity still remain the major challenges confronting the sector.
According to him, “We are organising the West African Power Pool, WAPP, General Assembly jointly between us and Nextile. And we felt that as part of that organisation, we should actually create awareness about the electricity industry in Nigeria.
“The reason is that there is this perception that the electricity industry has consumed a lot of money and there is nothing to show for it, but wee need to state certain things that are very clear here.
“The power sector liberalised quite alright, and it was liberalised on the basis of the fact that we want sustainable investment from the private sector to the power sector just like the telecommunication industry.
“Unfortunately, it has not happened in the way that we expected. Because, despite the fact that it has been liberalised, we still have problems with under capitalisation, liquidity crisis, regulatory consistency and we also have problem of electricity supply to Nigerians.
“And then we also have problem of lack of sufficient investment by the sector players, that is investment planning.
“Now, this is making people to think that all that we are doing is a waste of resources. But it is important to understand that the problem of lack of performance in the power sector is by only the role we the players.
“Of course, we the players have our role to play, but every Nigerian must understand that in one way or other, they are contributing to either the successful development of the sector or unsuccessful development of the sector.
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“Is important to highlight that any citizen taking part to vandalise power infrastructure, build under the power lines, frustrate the acquisition of power line, and frustrate construction of power infrastructure is directly or indirectly contributing to the poor development of the sector.”