Can We Fix Our Power Sector Challenges in Silos?

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I always look forward to my google alerts especially when it drops under the Federal Government, Electricity and Power sector tabs, it excites me with the hope that there may be some sort of effort to provide more value for Nigerians. It is the same hope that got me excited when I saw The Cable throw up a headline which claimed that we may be on our way to 9000 MW.

 

While the story may not be all that with respect to information which it shared, it seemed to tell that there is some motion towards growth and development in the sector. Improving transmission capacity to 9000 MW cannot be cheap in any way, it would create both direct and indirect jobs thus we know there is some form of value being created for Nigerians.

 

Unfortunately, there has been an absence of stakeholder inputs, engagement, and valid contribution to these projects, it implies a capacity shortfall in the management and implementation of these expansion projects and so true value is lost upon delivery. These shortfalls will, in the long run, result in the failure of these investments to yield the expected results, as stakeholders will fail to complement these projects by fulfilling their own deliverables to ensure that these projects are successful.

Let us assume that this capacity expansion from 5000MW to 9000 MW will impact DISCOs A & B, it should be in the best interest of the project managers/promoters to start out by holding comprehensive stakeholder meetings with representatives of the DISCOs and even the customers who will be served by the expansion program. We are a poor economy that is struggling on multiple fronts thus if stakeholders do not appreciate how value is being created by huge investments they will fail to appreciate their responsibility towards these projects. The failure of such projects will only take a matter of time as ROI will be an uphill task.

 

What we have experienced over the past couple of years has been a blame game ping-pong affair among the participants in the value chain. The result is that the customers continue to suffer as service levels struggle to improve because the lack of synergy fails to drive collective and concerted efforts towards a more viable and service driven power sector. The blame game contributes hugely to poor service improvements, paltry collections and a lack of any form of investment as the players are largely perceived as unserious, insincere and unable to create any true value for themselves and the people who they serve.

 

As 2018 comes to an end and we go into elections, it is important that the players review how much they have contributed to the sector with a view to creating value through synergy in the coming year. We must take a 360 perspective on the need for synergy so as to stimulate the entire value chain and entrench viability in the sector.

 

Chinedu Amah.

CEO Spark Media Ltd.

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