Lack of coordination bane of efficient power sector – Senate

By Haruna Salami

The Senate Committee on Power, after a three day investigative public hearing on the sector, has concluded that lack of coordination and synergy among various stakeholders, have been responsible for the poor performance despite huge sums of money invested. 

This was disclosed Tuesday by the Committee Chairman, Senator Gabriel Suswam, while speaking with journalists at the end of the investigative hearing.

“You will discover from what we have heard for the past three days that there is a serious misalignment in the power sector. The reason why, in spite of the huge expenditure, we have been unable to achieve anything because there is no proper coordination,” Suswam said.

According to him, “we have listened to presentations from the government side and the operators  and we have seen that there is no alignment anywhere and that is the problem. 

“The blame game among them has to stop. Once there is an alignment and proper coordination, that yes, if we generate 13,000 megawatts, and transmission is able to transmit at least 10,000 megawatts, and distribution companies, DisCos are able to absorb the 10,000, and there is proper tariff, it makes the sector solvent.”

He said once there’s money in the sector, the other potential investors will come in, the banks will be able to also put in more money, so that the sector will begin to run on its own. 

“But where we are now, it will be unthinkable that government will stop providing the intervention. Once that stops, everything will collapse. 

“The problem is, the sector is insolvent. The DisCos are unable to collect money  from ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs that are owing N98 billion in addition debts owed by individuals. 
There are lots of issues and those issues must be aligned; that is what we’re trying to do in this investigative/public hearing

“We are spending huge amount of money paying for debt that is already owed. We must begin to focus on how to address the issue of infrastructural deficits in the power sector. Let’s spend money on metering.

“Let’s at least meter about 80% of those connect led to the network and then be able to collect enough money to make the sector liquid. 

In an earlier paper presented by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN the apex bank disclosed that the the sum of N29.5 billion was spent as “Nigeria electricity market stabilisation facility (NEMSF)” recently.