• Friday, April 12, 2024
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BusinessDay

NEXTIER stakeholders want FG to address weak governance, data concerns

Buhari
As Nigerians await the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term of four years, NEXTIER Power stakeholders alongside officials of the Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa (CSEA) have called on the Federal Government to address key concerns confronting the power sector, slowing down its progress since post privatisation of 2013.
The stakeholders want the Federal Government to pay particular attention to liquidity concerns in the sector, which has seen the cost selling power lower than the cost of selling power to consumers, as the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has delayed a cost reflective tariff for the sector for a record sixth time post privatisation.
‎Speaking at Energy Policy workshop held in Abuja, Belije Madu, the Project director, Taleveras Power Limited, Belije Madu, expressed concern that Nigeria’s power sector still lacks data even seven years after privatisation.
“We don’t have data in the power industry, we have not even concluded enumeration of who is getting the power we are giving out since after power privatisation. This worries me and the government must look at this development.”
He states further that the sector has liquidity problems, which has seen cost of generating the electricity, lower than the cost it’s being sold out to consumers.
“‎There are also wider concerns of Energy theft, Meter bypass, and general poor customer perception of the workings of the sector. We also have to pay attention to infrastructure. The distribution network is weak, and needs more investment in it,” he said.
Also speaking at the summit, Emeka Okpukpara, partner, NEXTIER Power expressed concern that transmission, distribution and generation value chains in the power sector are not properly re-aligned.
According to him, “40% is lost in the sector due to transmission, distribution and collection losses, which is largely due to dis-alignment of the sectoral value chains.”
He states further that the various government interventions in the power sector with the latest Federal Executive Councils approval of N600bn power sector intervention is not the solution, rather proper realignment of power stakeholders to deliver on the mandates effectively.
Precious Akanonu, a research fellow with Centre for Economies of Africa at the event call on the regulatory body-NERC to ensure proper governance of the sector and wield the big stick when necessary to ensure efficiency of the sector.
Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy, but also has one of the widest energy gaps in the world.
With a quickly growing population, Nigeria urgently needs to improve its power sector.
The country’s current installed capacity is reported as 12,500 megawatts, but in practice, only about 3,800 megawatts gets evacuated.
The government’s aim to boost electricity access from 45% today to 90% by 2030 will drive even more demand.
The government privatised power sector in 2013, hoping to promote efficiency, attract investment, and increase generation, but this has yet to deliver results.