The debate continues on the subject of the privatisation of power companies in Nigeria. The subject was once again brought to the fore yesterday by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara.
In his opinion, the lack of improvement in the sector calls for concern and is sufficient reason for the government to have another look at the privatisation of the power companies.
The Speaker, who was represented by the minority whip, Hon. Yakubu Barde, at the investigative public hearing on the need to stop the plan to raise a federal government bond of N309bn to finance the shortfall in the electricity market, opined that since the purpose of the privatisation of the power companies was to pave the way for efficiency in the industry, serious questions must be asked now if the problems still persist.
“Unfortunately, since the un-bundling
of PHCN and transfer of the businesses to the privately-operated successor company’s on November 1, 2013, we have not had a good report from the electricity market,” he said.
“Duration of uninterrupted supply is on the average six to eight hours per day. Metering of customers is dismal. Crazy estimated bills are used to exploit consumers.
“Generation capacity has not improved; yet, tariffs were increased in February 2016. Despite
all this, there were reports that the cumulative market shortfall had risen to over N700 billion as of date.
“This trend escalates at the rate of about N25.6 billion monthly from Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) in August 2016 Electricity Market Payment Report”, the speaker lamented.
The speaker also said that the current realities of the power sector may call a fundamental change of approach in the way privatisation is done is the country.