The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has revealed that Nigeria was losing an average of $29bn to power sector failure.
The Senate President disclosed this in Abuja while declaring open an investigative public hearing on the ‘Power Sector Recovery Plan and the Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic.’
He directed the Senate Committee on Power, the organisers of the event, to look at what had happened to the agreement signed in 2013 on the privatisation of the power sector.
He said, “Some authorities say we lose about $29bn every year because of lack of sufficient and stable power. That is equivalent of what our people are supposed to earn.
“The purpose of privatisation is not for the government to wash away his hand, to run away from responsibilities.
“It’s an admission by the government that, first, it doesn’t have the resources required to move this sector forward.
“And it is also believed that investors who would come to invest in that sector would have the financial capacity and muscle.”
The Senate President remarked that a power sector that would provide a steady and regular supply of power is what Nigeria needs.
The Power Holding Company of Nigeria was in 2013 unbundled for the emergence of six generating companies, 11 distribution companies and the Transmission Company of Nigeria.
The Senate President said, “When you have privatisation, you have Share Purchase Agreement. This investigation should look at what has happened.
“What are the responsibilities and the obligations of the Federal Government in the Share Purchase Agreement. What is the Bureau of Public Enterprises supposed to do?
“And equally and very important, what are the successful investors who were given 11 Discos and six Gencos supposed to do and within which time framework.
“Government should not be giving free money. About N1.8tn has been given to Discos; maybe in their books. The same amount of money might have been given to the Gencos.
“N1.8tn is a huge amount of money. Is it part of the Share Purchase Agreement that we should be giving this kind of money or what are we supposed to do as a government. What is our obligation?
“I will advise the executive here; next time, if there will be any next time to give such money; bring it to the National Assembly for approval.”
The Senate President said Nigeria could not have made any serious, meaningful and sustainable progress without power.