Electricity consumers want minister to overhaul sector

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Abuja

Electricity Consumers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), want the new Minister of Power, Mr Adebayo Adelabu to overhaul the power sector to ensure stable power supply.

The consumers who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday said that overhauling the sector would improve power supply.

Mr Kunle  Olubiyo, the President, Nigeria Consumer Protection Network said that the minister should do a surgical overhaul of the regulatory institutions and ecosystem of the power sector.

According to him, the minister should do  an appraisal  of the performances  of all agencies in the last 10 years using benchmarks of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Olubiyo also urged Adelabu to engage bests hands as advisers and working team to enable him achieve the Federal Government’s desire of giving its citizens stable and uninterrupted power supply.

Speaking on other task before the minister, he urged him to drive the process of the long overdue review of the sector’s privatisation.

The minister said that 10 years after the privatisation, the exercise had failed to deliver the desired results.

He said that the review should be done across the value chain of the electricity sector from generation, transmission to distribution.

“By so doing, issues relating to increased expansion of the huge metering gaps, sector liquidity challenges and poor remittances culture, load rejection will be addressed.

“Other issues such as market shortfalls, tariff shortfalls ,payment of generation capacity, low generation per capital, weak transmission infrastructure resulting in decline in transmission wheelijg capacity and incessant power system collapses and load shedding will also be addressed,

According to him, load rejection by electricity distribution licensees at the downstream sub sector, poor quality of services, near zero governance structure  will be eliminated.

Mr Princewill Okorie,  the President, Association For Public Policy Analysis said that  the privatisation of the power sector was meant to break the control of electricity generation and distribution from government.

Okorie said that the privatisation was to ensure adequate, regular and stable supply of electricity to the consumer at reasonable cost.

“This entails that cost should be fixed in consideration of other factors such as provision of infrastructure like transformers, poles, wires, meters that enhance network expansion and maintenance.

“It also entails that service delivery should be satisfactory to the consumers who are expected to pay the tariff that enable investors recover their investment and make profit.

“Also, it means that regulations made for protection of the interest of the consumers and investors should be impartially enforced to bring the principle of rule of law, fair play and justice into the sector, ‘’ he said..

He said that unfortunately, implementation of privatisation policy in the sector began from exclusion of consumer groups on whose interest, satisfaction and willingness to pay was seen as the attraction of the policy.

Okorie said that tariff reviews have taken place severally since 2013 when the privatisation commenced, adding that consumer satisfaction impact evaluation and assessment was hardly carried out.

“We are appealing to the minister of power to support the delivery of people oriented and consumer protective power policies to Nigerians in the electricity sector. ”he said.

Also speaking, Mr Reuben Okoro, an electricity consumer said that Nigerians expect the minister to deliver stable electricity to enable them do their businesses without relying on generator.

Okoro who is welder resident in Lugbe, FCT said that the minister should overall the entire power sector starting from generation to distribution.

“By so doing, he will be able to address the challenges facing the sector and provide stable electricity to Nigerians.

“Nigerians are really suffering as a lot of us depend on generators to operate our businesses, the minister should do his best to address the challenges in the sector,”he said.

Mrs Nosayaba Odigie, a Fashion Designer in Area 3, Garki FCT also want the minister of to look into the issue of epileptic power supply.

Odigie said that if the country was able to address the challenges in the sector, all other things would fall in place.

“Power is what brings development to every nation as its citizens rely on electricity to run their daily activities. So we are appealing to the minister to take the issue seriously,”she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls thstbPresident Bola Tinubu had on Aug. 21 inaugurated 45 new ministers as members of the Federal Executive Council.

On assumption of duty the Minister of Power, Mr Adebayo Adelabu assured that the Federal Government would empower Nigerians through stable and accessible power.

He stressed that every home, industry, school, and business would benefit from the government effort.

To achieve the feat, Adelabu said the ministry would leverage on the Nigerian Electricity Act, 2023 to boost power supply in the country.

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