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Federal Govt spent N1.7trn on DisCos in 7 years ─NEC Committee

* Urges declaration of state of emergency in power sector

Alexander Davis

The Nasir el-Rufai Committee mandated to examine the status of power of the Nigerian electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) has called for memoranda from stakeholders and members of the public regarding the problems and solutions of the wonky energy sector of the economy.

Governor el-Rufai of Kaduna State disclosed this after a meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC), presided over by Vice-President (Prof.) Yemi Osinbajo, NEC Chairman, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, FCT, Thursday, January 23.

ConsumerConnect recalls that NEC had set up the Committee Nasir el-Rufai Committee.

The electricity situation in Nigeria is broken, and requires a declaration of a state of emergency, posited el-Rufai.

Nigerian Tribune reports that the Kaduna State chief executive told the State House correspondents that his committee has submitted its report to NEC.

‘The objective of the committee is “how do we fix the power sector?” ’ he asked.

Hitherto, the governor noted that despite the privatisation of the sector, the Federal Government spent N1.7trillion on the power sector in three years.

While advising against being judgmental, he said: “The problems in electricity are many; capacity is one perhaps.

“There are some that have shown lack of capacity it is true but there are many that are fantastic, so it is very difficult to pass quick judgement.

“There are other issues. The entire sector is broken; the tariff is an issue, the way the privatisation was done is an issue to many. So, there are many issues,” he stressed.

He identified what they have done, that there are fundamental problems in the electronic supply industry, and that you cannot privatise an industry.

And then, over three years since privatisation, you pump in N1.7trillion of government into it. That is not privatisation.

“The Federal Government has supported the electricity sector with N1.7 trillion in the last three years and this is not sustainable.

According to el-Rufai, “solutions must be found” in the struggling electricity industry.

Those solutions are not going to be nice.

They may be painful, but the only way to solve the structural problems in the industry is to take some very difficult decisions, he observed.

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