“Our committee needs to investigate the trillions spent in the power sector. That is a lot of money. Try and find out what has happened so far. The government needs to look at this whole thing. Maybe the government is not doing its own part. We need to find out. There is a lack of capital. We feel very bad. There is no electricity and the country is suffering.”
With these words, yesterday, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, lamented the terribly poor electricity supply in the country despite the privatization of the sector.
Consequently, the lawmakers sought an immediate reversal of the power sector privatization carried out by the last administration for “failure to deliver.”
The Senate also urged the Federal Government to suspend the planned increase in electricity tariff scheduled to take effect from July 1, 2020, so as not to escalate the hardship Nigerians are currently suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adopting a motion sponsored by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, Gabriel Suswam, the upper chamber declared that if the privatization in the power sector was not reversed, Nigeria might stop having electricity in the next 10 years.
Lawan, who presided over yesterday’s plenary session said: “We gave power to them (power generation and distribution companies) and they still come to the public to ask for funds. I think it’s time for Nigeria to consider reversing the privatisation of the power sector or they should just cancel the entire privatisation process completely. If we leave it, we may not have power for another ten years.
“We expected efficiency and something better. The distribution companies have no capacity to supply us power. We shouldn’t continue to give them money. They’re private businesses. We need to review this whole thing. Something is wrong.”
The Senate also mandated its committee on power to investigate all Federal Government’s interventions in the power sector since the privatization to date with a view to ascertaining the adequacy of such interventions and their desired impact and to report back within four weeks.