Power sector operators are optimistic of growth in the sector given some developments in the last one year after a review of the post-independence power sector in Nigeria. However, they frowned at some challenges currently facing the power sector.
On the generation companies, GENCOs, the Chairman of Egbin Power Plant, Kola Adesina, expressed optimism in the nation’s power sector in the last one year, saying it is currently experiencing some turnaround.
In his words, “The power sector in the last one year is taking shape, tough, but surmountable.”
Adesina called on the Government to, as a matter of urgency, address issues ranging from pricing, gas supply, liquidity, access to foreign exchange, and proactive regulation. He further called for special foreign exchange policy to aid the sector, intervention fund for the inherent losses recognised, as well as ensuring gas availability.
On the distribution companies, DISCOs, General Manager, Communications, EKEDC, Mr. Godwin Idemudia, also speaking argued that the power sector in Nigeria have taken a positive shift in recent times as against what was obtained in the past.
According to him, “It is a well-known fact that before privatization, power supply in the country was precarious due to reasons not far from inadequate gas supply for generation, weak transmission network, dilapidated distribution networks, energy theft and other negative vices.
“Since take over by the new investors, a lot have been going on especially on the privatised part of the sector, namely generation and distribution. There is an improvement in gas production, increase in power generation capacity.
“Distribution networks are being reinforced, improved customer care services and the new owners have injected substantial amount of investment into the business to achieve improvement in parts of the sector without thinking of returns for now.”
He argued that the inability and zeal to privatise the link between the generation and distribution (TCN) remains a challenge. He also noted that, the challenges crippling the sector is the exchange rate as most of the equipment and materials are basically imported.
“As the GENCOs and the Discos are improving, the link which is transmission still remains the same. Not much has been done in that direction,” he added.
He said that the privitisation of the power sector remains the greatest achievement of all time.
He said, “The government would not have been able to do it alone. The private investors need a lot of encouragement especially now that the exchange rate is so worrisome.”
However, he called on the distribution companies to invest more on alternative power generation to support its supply.
He said, “The Discos need to be encouraged to go into embedded generation within their areas of operations. This will go a long way to meet the yearning and aspirations of their customers.
He added, “The government is already doing something to improve the power situation in the country, but Nigerians need to be patient.