Power Privatization: Senate Queries N1.8 trillion Spend by FG

The Nigerian Senate commenced an investigation into the privatization of the power sector agreement in 2013 saying N1.8 trillion spent so far by the federal government has not yielded expected results.

The Senate President, Dr Ahmed Lawan who declared open the Senate Investigative Public Hearing on the Power Sector Recovery Plan disclosed this on Monday.

According to public analysts, Nigerian power sector failure is responsible for the slow pace of development and the incessant power supply is causing the country to lose its scare resources on many fronts.

Senate President Ahmed Lawan declaring the Public Hearing open
Senate President, Ahmed Lawan

Dr Lawan said: “We expect that by now, our level of generation, transmission and distribution would have been far better. That is what the country needs, but where we have given out N1.8 trillion that you hardly understand why it is given, then we need to ask questions. We want to be very critical on how funds are given to privatized enterprises.”

The senate president added that the expectations of Nigerians from the power privatization have failed to materialize, which have caused small business owners and manufacturers from reaping from their investments.

He said: “When the Gencos and Discos were privatized, the overall expectation of the Nigerian government and the citizens was that the power sector, after privatisation, would be far better, but what we have seen today is a far cry from what was expected.

“Nigeria has remained undeveloped especially when we are talking about manufacturing, and even up to the level of empowering small businesses like artisans, the vulcanisers, the barbers.

“Jobs which ordinarily should be for Nigerians will have to be exported out. Little wonder some authorities say we lose about 29 billion dollars every year because of lack of sufficient and stable power. That is equivalent to what our people are supposed to earn.

“Just last year, we signed the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement, but how can Nigeria take advantage of that agreement when we don’t have the power to produce anything in a competitive environment. We’ll just remain a dumping ground.

“So for these reasons, we are taking a look at the power sector recovery plan because for us in the National Assembly, we want to see a sector that provides a steady and regular supply of power.

“We are taking a look at what has happened with the Share Purchase Agreement signed when these Gencos and Discos were given out. What are the responsibilities and the obligations of the Federal government and the successful investors and within which time were they expected.”

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