Senate Begins Power Sector Probe

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The senate has declared
that officials of the Federal Ministry of Power, its departments and agencies  as well as other key players within the sector would soon appear before it.
Chairman, Senate Ad-hoc committee on power, Senator Abubakar Kyari made the declaration Friday when Senate President, Bukola Saraki inaugurated a 14-member fact-finding panel at the National Assembly.
Kyari said stakeholders in the sector from 1999 till date would be asked to provide information to enable the committee achieve its objective.
According to him, the committee would seek inputs from the establishment on the process of privatisation in relation to funds generated and settlement of laid off staff of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
Kyari emphasised that the committee would verify the claims of the successful bidders, their companies financial profiles and why they were already asking for bail out from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
A close look at the entire power value chain he noted calls for review of policies in order to obtain optimum performances across board.
“The abysmal performance of the generation segment is no longer news, in view of the current deteriorating power supply which hovers around 4,600MW for a population of over 170 million people, despite the huge resources committed into it.
The committee will beam its searchlight in this direction to put things in proper perspectives, and having realised that the transmission segment is the major linkage between the generation and distribution fronts, increasing our capacity in this direction is also very necessary since power produced must be utilised immediately”, he said.
Kyari remarked that the committee would require explanations from the Transmission Company of Nigeria on the terms of its management contract with the Federal Government regarding assets inherited, funds injected into the company as well as achievements recorded so far.
Also on the distribution segment the senator said the committee was desirous of ascertaining the level of funds committed into it before the privatization since it is solely private-sector-driven.
He disclosed that signals emanating from their activities showed that excessive profiteering had been the major determinant of their decisions, remarking that some of the distribution companies reject power load allocations as to reduce cost.
The senator also stated that the metering system of the distributing companies calls for a fundamental review as there are estimated billings and imposition of fixed charges for services not rendered.
In his reaction the Senate President, Bukola Saraki asked the committee to work towards the resolution of the challenges currently facing the sector, and noted that the country’s economic problems could only be properly addressed when the power sector was fully functional.