The opposition party said the PDP-led government is not sincere in its promise to Nigerians.
The All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, on Thursday, criticised the Federal Government over the very irregular power supply experienced by Nigerians, especially in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, saying it has reneged on its promise to improve power supply in the country.
The opposition party alleged that the Power Road Map, which was launched by President Goodluck Jonathan, had been shifted by the government to 2016 so that Nigerians would not hold it accountable during the 2015 general elections.
The Presidential Task Force on Power (PTFP) had recently explained that the electricity load shedding experienced by Abuja residents was as a result of the Shiroro Power Plant shut down for long maintenance evaluation.
Spokesperson of PTFP, Awele Okigbo, said the shutdown resulted in the loss of 130 megawatts from February 12 thereby causing power supply in Abuja to be affected predominantly during the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Emma Eneukwu, the ANPP said that there was no difference between the time Shiroro Power Plant was shut down and the time it worked at full capacity because power supply has always been erratic.
It added that PTFP’s excuse epitomizes the constant rationalization the Federal Government dishes to Nigerians in order to cover up its inability to fulfil its promises to Nigerians on power supply.
The party recalled that when, in 2010, Mr. Jonathan launched the Power Road Map which contained policies and institutional reforms, he promised to implement a super transmission network; generate additional 5,000 megawatts through the international oil companies, and active exploitation of hydro, nuclear and coal power; privatization of the power sector and an addition of 4, 775 mega watts from the Independent Power Plants [IPPs].
It added that the president also promised Nigerians that they should expect 14,000 megawatts power generation at the end of 2013.
“We are now almost ending the first quarter of 2013 and Nigeria cannot boast of 4,000 watts anymore,” the party said. “The unbundling of the PHCN and the implementation of the Multi Year Tariff Order [MYTO 2] have not resulted in improved power supply rather, it is squeezing out more electricity tariff from the hapless citizens. What the PDP government has done is to hastily postpone the Power Road Map.”
Describing the development as “policy somersault”, the ANPP said the projections for the use of the various fuel and energy sources have now been conveniently shifted to 2016, “so that Nigerians will not hold them accountable at the end of this tenure in 2015.”
ANPP alleged that the nation’s economy is bleeding heavily from the monies spent on alternative power supply and that good governance initiative in its 2013 report stated that N3.5 trillion is spent by Small and Medium Enterprises, manufacturers and families to generate electricity for private consumption and, in the same vein, bills incurred by government institutions and establishments also run into trillions of Naira.
The opposition party said it believes the Federal Government is not creative in power generation, adding that energy efficiency and renewable sources of power are not deployed effectively to supply power to the people just as it is done in other parts of the world.
“We believe that boasting and prevaricating with figures and megawatts with nonexistent commensurate impact in the lives of the ordinary Nigerian is not the way to go, but tackling the inefficient power sector head-on,” it said.
“Officially, Nigeria’s power generation has dropped from its December 2012 figure of 4,502 megawatts to 4,286 megawatts, though there are suggestions from various informed quarters that the actual generation is 3,700 megawatts.
“As a party, we believe that Nigeria has the human and natural resources to generate 24-hour supply of electricity; all (that) is needed is sincerity and unalloyed commitment on the part of the leadership,” the party stated.