• Seeks open process solutions

BY EDMOND ODOK, ABUJA – The Federal Government has admitted that over N1.7 trillion may have been frittered away trying to fix the nation’s epileptic power sector in the last three years.

In acknowledging that there is nothing much to show for the huge financial investment and support to the sector, the government said these trying times therefore demand Nigerians are fully involved in finding lasting solutions to the ‘broken’ sector.

Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, who opened up on government’s seeming helplessness in addressing Nigeria’s intractable power crisis at the end of National Economic Council (NEC) meeting in the State House, Abuja, said more pragmatic measures are required now to effectively tackle the issues at hand.

He said the NEC, which reviewed the sector’s performance over the last 36 months, had no good news for Nigerians with its damning report of complete break down of activities despite increased funding support enjoyed by the electricity industry.

Governor El-Rufai, who chairs the NEC’s committee on harmonising the Power Sector Reforms, however said government is fully determined to tackle headlong and end obvious challenges that have stalled positive growth and development in the sector.

He explained that NEC has already endorsed the committee’s request to throw open the process of finding solutions to the national power crisis, adding that beyond experts and other critical players in the sector, ordinary Nigerians, with workable ideas and experience in the power sector would be fully engaged in the process as part of efforts to solve the national power challenges that have become cantankerous over the years .

“On the status of the ownership of the distribution companies, the committee met five times since its inauguration on the 5th of December, we’ve made significant progress in getting presentations from all the stakeholders in the electricity supply industry and we all agreed that the electricity supply industry is broken and the situation of the power sector is a national emergency that requires all hands to be on the deck, to interrogate why the sector is not working for the overall progress and benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians”, the Kaduna State Chief Executive said.

According to him. “We’ve received presentations from virtually all the stakeholders. We came to NEC to ask that we co-opt the Association of the Electricity Distribution Companies in Nigeria and the Association of Electricity Generating Companies in Nigeria as members of the committee and NEC approved that.

“We updated NEC on what we have found so far and promised that work on this will continue and we’ll submit our report in the shortest possible time.”

However, in admitting the complexity of the power sector, Governor el-Rufai said; “But the electricity industry is quite complex and technical and even those of us that have been asked to be members of the committee are learning a lot from the various presentations, sometimes conflicting presentations from various stakeholders in the power sector.”

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