The continuous fall in power generation in the country has become a great source of concern to the Senate. This is especially as about N213bn has been sunk into the sector under the Power Intervention Fund with much still to be desired across the power industry’s value chain.
In addition, there have been unending bickering over non-remittance of revenue amongst the major players: Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET), Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) and Generation Companies (DisCos).
It is against this backdrop that the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki urged the Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy to conduct a public hearing on the situation.
The hearing is to clearly understand the situation and get a better understanding of how the intervention fund to the power sector by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, was disbursed.
The Senate President also mandated the public hearing to beam its searchlight on the Bureau of Public Enterprises. It is believed that the BPE’s membership of the boards of the DisCos and GenCos might have rendered them ineffective in their role as supervisors and auditors for the same companies.
This development emanated from a special stakeholders meeting aimed at drawing up solutions to the challenges of power generation in the country. The meeting had Dr Saraki and stakeholders in the power sector in attendance.
At the meeting, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Louis Edozien, highlighted the drop in power generation to 3000MW/H from a 7000MW/H generating capacity with a 12000MW/H connected load.
Edozien also said the poor and declining revenue collection capacity of the Discos, which are remitting about 45 per cent of collectable revenue as against the performance agreement target of 65 per cent, is a big factor militating against improved power generation and supply in the country
On their part, the gas producers and suppliers lamented the wanton and unabating vandalism of pipelines meant to supply gas and the inability of the GenCos to pay for the already supplied products as their major challenges.
The MD/CEO of NBET however turned on the heat when he surprisingly revealed that the DicCos were guilty of what he termed ‘bad behaviour’ in managing their revenue. She stated that the DisCos could not account for most of the remittances of their customers.
She blamed the situation largely on the BPE for slacking in its responsibility as the supervisor of the sector. She affirms that the BPE must be more proactive in demanding accountability and proper auditing from the DisCos.
It was this revelation amongst other issues raised that prompted the Senate President to direct that a public hearing be conducted by the Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy to identify the challenges and proffer solutions.