By Henry Umoru
THE Senate has started probing about N1.8 trillion the Federal Government invested in the Power Sector through the Electricity Supply Industry, NESI, from 2013 to date.
According to the Senate, a holistic investigation would be carried out, especially to find out how interventions by the Federal Government to address the problems associated with the power sector had been executed, noting that government had, over the years, intervened at various times.
Addressing journalists, yesterday, in Abuja, Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Senator Gabriel Suswan (PDP, Benue North East) lamented that despite the huge sums spent so far, the sector has been epileptic, with no commensurate results.
According to him, from 2013 to date, the Federal Government had spent N701 billion; N600 billion and this year, there has been N380 billion and N213 billion, adding that all these monies were FG intervention in the power sector to make it efficient and for Nigerians have access to electricity.
Suswam said that despite the huge amount of money that had been expended, the result is that the performance has been below expectations, adding that the Senate was geared towards determining the adequacy of such funds. He noted that if the funds is found to have been adequate, the Senate wants to know why Nigerians are not receiving stable and adequate power supply.
Consequently, the Senate has summoned the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman; Presidential Power Initiative; Bureau of Public Enterprises; Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trader, NBET and Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC to appear before the Committee next week for a three- day probe.
Also to appear before the Committee are the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN; Generation Companies, Gencos; Distribution Companies, DISCOS; Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company, NELMCO and Gas- to- Power Suppliers.
The committee’s investigation is to identify the reasons for efficiency and under- performance in terms of unstable and inadequacy electricity supply in the power sector despite the huge financial interventions by the Federal Government as well as assist President Muhammadu Buhari to achieve his promise of providing Nigerians with adequate and stable power supply.