Concerned Nigerians have increased pressure on the President-elect, General Mohammadu Buhari, to review the privatization of the power sector as parts of measure to stabilize the sector.
This is coming against the failure of the new private firms that took over the assets of the Power Holding of Nigeria, PHCN to effectively deliver on the power sector after almost two years of disposing the assets.
According to Mr. Tomi Akingbogun, Interim President of the Nigerian Electricity Consumers Advocacy Network, NECAN, the president-elect must unearth and probe culprit involved in the various irregularities surrounding the power sector.
He said that total collapse in supply, quality and pricing that have characterized the country’s power sector within the past six years.
He said, “The actions of the DISCOs and GENCOs are not reading positive results, as they seems to be more interested in generating money without commensurate increase in the electricity supply for Nigerians.
There is a big challenge in the billing system of the DISCOs to the customers because tariff is so high with the bills pegged at a constant and increasing rate despite the drop in power supply to make up for such demands from the public.
He further noted that the various companies that bought over the assets of PHCN have not put in their capacity in ensuring improvement in the power sector.
He noted that most of them after taking over from assets relaxed without conscious investment in the system, but instead were satisfied with forcing electricity consumers to pay indiscriminate bill.
He added that most of them went into the privatization deal without sustainable business ideas and clues of the industry.
“Due to this lingering issues associated in the industry, I can say something is deeply wrong with both the GENCOs and the Distribution companies because the customers on their part are ready to pay high as long power supply improves across the country.”
The NECAN boss however lamented that the situation had negatively impacted on the growth of the Small Medium Scale Enterprise, SME.
He noted that businesses in the country have suffered due to their inability recoup investment as over 20 per cent of income generated is being spent on fueling the generators.
He charged the incoming administration to investigate and put in place measures that would help rid the system of this extortion of customers.
In another twist the electricity workers under the aegis of the Nigerian Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) led by factional president of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joe Ajaero also supported the call for the review of privatization of the sector.
NUEE however lamented that the payment of over N200 billion to the private firms as a bail-out by the government even after the supposed privatization exercise leaves so much to be desired.
The NUEE president, suggested that if after many months, privatization of electricity in the country had failed to bring expected results to electricity consumers, there is therefore the need completely look into why the programmed failed.
He said, “NUEE believes that the sham called privatization should be revisited. If privatization, as we were made to understand, was an attempt to bring Nigerians to heaven-on-earth ‘Eldorado’ and the situation had remained the same even after many years, then there is need to review the programme.