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‘Nigeria Will Not Reverse Power Sector Privatisation’

Widespread agitations for review of the 2004 power sector privatization in Nigeria may have fallen on its face following the assertive declaration last weekend by the chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, Gabriel Suswan, the deed cannot be undone.

Speaking in Abuja during the committee’s oversight visit to some government structures under the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), Suswan said that the reversal of privatisation of the power sector will affect the economy and create issues of trust in the international community.

“We encourage the government to continue with the privatisation as far as the power sector is concerned. There are teething problems and those problems will not be reason for the review of the privatisation that was done and people have bought into it,” he stated.

According to the committee chairman, all that is left for Nigeria is to try to make sure there is enhanced performance in the sector to create efficiency, with as the process itself started on a faulty note, he said.

“Some of the parameters used were a bit faulty so the sector has been faced with problems that ordinarily would have been avoidable. So, what we are trying to do in the National Assembly is to identify the core challenges so that we can help the executive in addressing them,” the lawmaker said.

It will be recalled that early this year, Chairman of Ikeja Electric, Kola Adesina, stated that there were plans for the federal government and the power distribution companies (DisCos) to sign a performance improvement plan for the supply of energy by June 2020. The agreement would outline the expectations from both the government and the power sector investors, in terms of accountability.

According to Adesina, at the time, the expectation was that the government would play its own part, the critical success factors would be made available by the government, “then we can be held accountable for our performance or lack of performance in the future.”