We are still listening to Stakeholders – El- Rufai
If you were expecting quick fix report from the Federal Government Committee to review the present ownership of power assets in the country, you have to tarry awhile. According to the Chairman of the committee, Mallam El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, they are still listening to stakeholders before they make up their minds as to what to advice the Federal Government.
Mallam El-Rufai was speaking today after the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting presided over by the Vice President. Hear him; “So, my appeal is that let’s not be quick to pass judgement. Right now we are listening to all the stakeholders. Of course there is a lot of blame game.
“At the end of the day, we must have an honest conversation as Nigerians and know that unless we fix electricity, we cannot make progress. And this electricity is required not only in the cities but in every home, every rural area.”
“The problems in electricity are many, capacity is one perhaps. There are some that have shown lack of capacity. It is true but there are many that are fantastic, so it is very difficult to pass quick judgement.
“There are other issues. The entire sector is broken, the tariff is an issue, the way the privatization was done is an issue to many. So there are many, many issues.
“What we have agreed on is that there are fundamental problems in the electricity supply industry, and that you cannot privatize an industry and then over three years since privatization, you pump in N1.7 trillion of government money into it. That is not privatization.
“The federal government has supported the electricity sector with N1.7 trillion in the last three years and this is not sustainable. So, solutions must be found. Those solutions are not going to be nice. They may be painful, but the only way to solve the structural problems in the industry is to take some very difficult decisions.”
He added: “On the status of the ownership of the distribution companies, the committee met five times since its inauguration on the 5th of December, we’ve made significant progress in getting presentations from all the stakeholders in the electricity supply industry and we all agreed that the electricity supply industry is broken and the situation of the power sector is a national emergency that requires all hands to be on the deck, to interrogate why the sector is not working for the overall progress and benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians.
“We’ve received presentations from virtually all the stakeholders. We came to NEC to ask that we co-opt the Association of the Electricity Distribution Companies in Nigeria and the Association of Electricity Generating Companies in Nigeria as members of the committee and NEC approved that.”
According to him, besides experts and other critical players in the sector, ordinary Nigerians, who have ideas and experience the power would be invited to bring in memoranda, as part of the plan to solve the intractable national power problem.