electricity

…Describe new owners as hustlers, hawks

By Obas Esiedesa & Ezra Ukanwa

ABUJA—THE National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, yesterdasy, urged the Federal Government to reverse the privatisation of the nation’s power sector, describing new owners of the privatised companies as ‘hustlers’ and ‘hawks’ who have contributed poorly to the power sector.

The union also accused the new owners of deceiving the Federal Government into paying N2 trillion subvention, even as it insisted that they had continued to impoverish Nigerians, leaving the country pillaged.

It claimed that despite recognizable improvements in the wheeling capacity of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, of 7,000 megawatts, the generation output had now dwindled below 5,000 megawatts.

The union pointed at the activities of the new owners as part of reasons the power sector has gone almost comatose and the impoverishment of the average worker in the sector.

The Zonal Organising Secretary (Liaison), Kolade Ayodele, who spoke to journalists on behalf of his colleagues, said Nigerians should also be worried, even as electricity tariffs continued to rise without commensurate service delivery.

He said: “Since the privatisation of Nigeria’s power sector in October 2013, electricity workers, under the age of the National Union of Electricity Employees, have been in the fore-front of speaking out on behalf of the Nigerian people

“It is an undeniable truth that the power sector privatisation has not added value to the lives of the ordinary Nigerians. The entire exercise, which could be described as a charade, has not brought any meaningful impact/improvement to the sector.

“Rather, it has led the nation to a huge setback. The infrastructural development by the new business owners in the power sector has almost gone comatose while the socio-economic status of the average worker in the sector has continued to decline amid prevailing harsh economic conditions.

‘’The same equipment inherited from pre-privatisation have remained what drives the sector as there are no visible attempts by the Generation Companies (GenCos) and Distribution Companies (DisCos) to upgrade and expand their capacities/networks.

“Nigerians were deceived into believing that the ‘harvestors’ had the financial/technical muscles to improve power generation and distribution to Nigerians. Can Nigerians be told today that this purpose has been achieved?

‘’The answer was echoed in the print/electronic media by members of the National Assembly who even called for the total reversal of the entire process.

“Despite improvement in the wheeling capacity of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, which is still Federal Government-owned to over 7,000MW, the generation output has been dwindling below 5,000MW.

“Alas! the ‘hustlers’ who deceived the Federal Government into paying almost N2 trillion subvention to the owners of the new companies since privatisation, are being used to call the union names in order to exploit Nigerians and sustain the current comatose situation. Their mission is simply to call a dog a bad name in order to hang it, while they keep smiling to the banks.”

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