The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, at a Breakfast Meeting of the Lagos Business School in Abuja last week said the Federal Government is discussing with stakeholders on ways to restructure Nigeria’s power sector with a view to improving supply and attracting more investment to the country. He expressed the Federal Government’s commitment to creating “a willing buyer, willing seller” situation in the power sector market.
According to Osinbajo, the same old ways where Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) controlled territory that they could not service cannot continue, NAN reports. “I think that what the Distribution Companies will argue, and what also we have to accept, is that we really have to have a cost-effective tariff one way or the other”. “The way it has worked in the experiments we have seen and what we have done is, for example, what we call the energizing economies projects that we have done where we have enabled private power in markets,” he said.
The Vice President noted that private power projects had been executed at the Sabon Gari Market in Kano, the Ariaria Market in Aba, the Sura Market in Lagos, and in Ondo. He said that the arrangements enabled the private power supplier to provide power to shop owners and businesses at an agreed cost-effective tariff. He observed that the current regulatory framework of the power sector in the country had to take into consideration the effective model of power supply.
“I think the current regulatory structure just has to accommodate the realities and we have got to make sure that we move ahead, otherwise we are going to have ourselves – as we are at the moment – regulating 4,000 megawatts of power for the next four years, which obviously is a disaster”. “We can’t sit here complaining about some people, who are complaining about power and saying we should cancel the licences of people who are providing power. “It’s not going to work.” The vice president further said that the Federal Government was also working to attract more investment to the gas sector.
The vice president also spoke about the federal government’s plans to develop Special Economic Zones nationwide and build up infrastructure in small, medium and large industrial clusters already existing across the nation. Osibanjo, who also spoke on human capital development in the “Next Level” of the Buhari administration, especially in relation to education and health, said that Nigeria would have a problem if something drastic was not done about them. He said that the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration would expand the Social Investment Programmes, including the N-Power scheme, the Home Grown School Feeding Programme, the Conditional Cash Transfer, and the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme so that it would include more Nigerians.