The Senate has urged the federal government to appoint a separate minister for the Ministry of Power to ensure optimal performance.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that under the present administration, the Ministry of Power is merged with that of Works and Housing.
The Senate also urged the government to immediately incorporate Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) for the implementation of alternative energy projects.
The projects include the Hydro Power, Solar power and Wind power.
It also advised the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to use gas as the source of energy for the Kaduna project in accordance with the original concept of the project.
The call followed Senate’s resolution on a motion on “The Need to establish and delegate Special Purpose Vehicles to execute and Operate Major Power Sector Development Projects.”
The motion was sponsored by Mustapha Bukar (APC-Katsina).
Mr. Bukar noted that the federal government, in 2004, conceived of the idea of an Integrated Power Project which metamorphosed into Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited (NDPHC) incorporated in 2005.
“This was in government’s quest to bridge the power gap for sustained economic growth in Nigeria by adding significant new generation capacity to Nigeria’s electricity supply system.’’ he said.
He noted that the National Assembly enacted the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act, 2005 on March 11, 2005, which kick-started the process of privatisation of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).
This he said was in a bid to develop a Competitive Electricity Market with the establishment of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
He said the function of NERC was to provide for the licensing and regulation of the entire value chain of the Nigerian Electricity Market (NEM).
“The privatisation became effective on November 1, 2013 when the unbundled Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) was sold and transferred to successful bidders of the 6 Generation Companies (GENCOs) and the 11 Distribution Companies (DISCOs).
“The ownership and control of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) was retained by the Federal Government for strategic reasons.”
The lawmaker further said that consequent upon the commencement of the privatisation and establishment of the Nigerian Electricity Market, the role of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works & Housing was restricted.
Contributing, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, Eyinnaya Abaribe, said the committee was already acting along its own mandate for oversight.
“We are working toward ensuring that these concerns that have been raised as a result of this motion were looked into.
“The Ministry of Power, today, is combined with Works and Housing and the thrust of the ministry is to give quality direction.
“But what we find is that the ministry continues to appropriate these jobs specifically meant to be done by agencies under it.
“We are taking measures to see whether we can bring the ministry back to what it ought to be.”
In his remarks, Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, said every talk about growing the economy would not work unless the power sector was repositioned.
“We need to create a situation where we have energy sufficiency.
‘’As long as the private sector depends on private arrangement for energy requirements, the cost of goods will continue to be high, especially the ones produced here.
“It is important that we all work toward ensuring power sufficiency in the country and ensure that it is sustained,” Mr. Ekweremadu said.
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