The chairman of the House of Representatives’ committee on power, Magaji Aliyu, has blamed Nigeria’s poor electricity on the misuse of political power by organs of government.
Mr Aliyu said this at the annual general meeting of the Association of Rural Electrification Contractors of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that some agencies were created under the power ministry without the knowledge of the supervising minister.
The sector has underperformed for decades, with low electricity generation and poor transmission network. Despite the poor distribution, electricity tariff continues to rise.
Last year, the Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman, said the country had installed a generation capacity of 13,000 megawatts but distributed less than 6,000 MW.
“As you know we are in the parliament to make laws for the good governance of this country and to ensure we do our oversight, the power sector is in a big problem due to lack of efficient and dynamic policies,” Mr Aliyu said Wednesday.
“There must be a desired formula that the politicians will use to allow the Ministry of Power to drive electricity in this country. There are agencies which are supposed to be under the Ministry of Power but they are not. There is a new agency called the Federal Power Company but the Ministry of Power is not aware of it. I think the politics is getting heated and Nigerians are getting the disadvantages of it,” he said.
Giving another example of some of the issues he said, “At the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company there is a war on where the organisation belongs; is it in the power or finance ministry? There is an issue with the Hydropower Development Authority on whether it should be in the Presidency or the power ministry? Where do we place these agencies that help generate electricity?” he asked.
“We have written severally(sic) even to the president on the need to do things the way they should be correctly, we cannot have a Ministry of Power that cannot oversee agencies under it. Some of these supposed agencies of power are under the Ministry of Finance and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“I believe that there are political machinations not to allow electricity to grow in this country. There are machinations to interfere with the power sector generally. We have multidimensional problems.”
Mr Aliyu said findings by the committee showed that many Nigerians were paying for electricity that they did not consume.
He also said the sector has been faced with the problems of power distribution, generation and transmission.
The former Chairman of NERC, Sam Amadi, said the reform of the electricity industry has not delivered quality service because of what he called disciplines, which include the discipline of right pricing and the discipline of effective project management.
He said the industry has to protect the independence of the regulator so that both customers and operators will have confidence in the long term viability of the sector.
Mr Amadi urged the regulator to be more transparent in tariffs and to require operators to drastically improve service delivery including consultation with consumer groups to ensure prices are just and fair and to the adverse consequences of reckless pricing.
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