FG urged to review power sector privatisation
Some experts on power have urged the Federal Government to urgently review the privatisation of the power sector as part of efforts to address challenges in the sector.
The experts, who spoke on Sunday in Abuja, said eight years after the privatisation of the sector, there was a need to review the performance of the investors.
Kunle Olubiyo, the president, Nigeria Consumer Protection Network, said the way out of the epileptic power supply was to revisit the privatisation done in 2013.
“The privatisation was done in November 2013 and in 2018, they were supposed to do a review, but that has not been done. Immediate review of the privatisation is needed to break the monopoly in the power sector. The present licence given to the investors should be reviewed,’’ he said.
On metering, Olubiyo said there should be a clear-cut policy direction.
“Consumers should be allowed to buy their meters and get refund through electricity credit/token,’’ he said.
Demeji Macauley, the national organiser, Revolutionary Socialist Movement (RSM), said what the power sector required was renationalisation due to its importance in the economy.
Macauley said that the power sector needs massive public investment to enable it expand to 21st century infrastructure, adding that it was only the government that could make it happen.
He said that with massive investment in the sector, consumers would get adequate power supply.
“Workers in the sector also need motivation via decent working conditions in order to guarantee uninterrupted electricity at an affordable tariff rate,’’ he said.
Also, Princewill Okorie, the national president, Association for Public Policy Analysis (APPA), a civil society group said that privatisation of the sector was just like any other policy in the country. He said that the privatisation was not the problem, adding that no policy work without proper implementation.
“Nigeria has a lot of laws but the problem is not about the law but the implementation and enforcement is where the problem is.
The institution set up to monitor the privatisation policy should do more to make it work” he said.
The power sector was privatised in November 2013, with six power generation plants and 11 electricity distribution companies handed over to the private sector.
The Federal Government, however, retained control of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN). The sector was unbundled and partially privatised to establish a competitive market intended to improve management and efficiency, attract private investment, increase generation, and provide reliable and cost-efficient power supply.
On taking over the power plants, the new investors were expected to refurbish, maintain, replace, operate and expand capacities of the plants to achieve their mandate of generating electricity for the country.