The Director, Research and Planning, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), Mr. Sunday Oduntan, has spoken about the way forward for the power sector. He made this statement while on air at a television program in Lagos, he said the Power, Works and Housing Minister, Babatunde Fashola, was pushing for incremental power generation in the sector, but expressed worry that the idea would face tariff and regulatory problems.
Oduntan said: “The problem is not how and what method was used in generating electricity but the regulatory inconsistency. If we look at solar energy as a source of generating power, and the tariff imposed on consumers is not right, there would be problem. It is the people that are making policies that made power supply impossible. The Ministries, Departments and Agencies(MDAs) have not paid debts owed power firms because there is no strong regulatory programme in place.’’
He also touched on the subject of the confusing privatisation of the power sector stating that the inability of the Federal Government to fully privatise the power was the major problem facing the industry and not a shortage of gas. also buttressing his point by saying that the major problem is faulty privatization in which a segment of the industry was sold to the private investors while another segment was left unsold.
The Federal Government through the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) unbundled and sold assets of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to private investors and left the transmission arm of the power sector privatized.
Oduntan said privatization has created problems in the sector because it was not holistic. Referencing the incompetency of TCN, He said issues such as the incessant national grid collapse would not have arisen if the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) was privatized.
‘’If the government had invested in TCN and also allowed it to be privatised, the story would have been different in the sector. Now, the government wants to centrally control the account of the power distribution companies (DisCos). When the government has put private enterprises in place and still wants to control the account of the entities it privatised or left a critical segment like transmission unprivatised, that is what you get. I cannot imagine the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) controlling account of a branch of FirstBank of Nigeria Plc in Enugu”