The Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Alex A. Okoh has assured that with the various interventions by the Federal Government in the power sector, consumers in the country will soon have quality and improved electricity supply.
Speaking at a one-day Roundtable Discussion on Power organised by the Senate Committee on Power with the theme: Addressing Nigeria’s Power Problems, Okoh said one of such interventions is the Presidential Power Initiative aimed at bridging the infrastructure gaps in the sector.
Okoh who defended the power privatisation, said it was successfully executed and likened it to a patient who successfully underwent a surgery but could not survive because of post-surgery issues. He said that prior to privatisation, electricity supply in the country was like a social service funded by the government and now that it is in the hands of the private sector efforts must be made to make up the funding gap.
While declaring the event open, Senate President, Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan called for an emergency in the power sector and urged discussants at the Roundtable to exhaustively deliberate the issues bedevilling the sector with a view to finding solutions.
Lawan stated that if there is the need by the National Assembly to amend the power sector reform bill, the lawmakers would not hesitate to do so given that power was the driver of Nigeria’s economy.
According to him, the country needed the political will to tackle its power issue and that there was no need playing the ostrich as all the issues in the sector were well known. He said that the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) by the Federal Government would be a mirage if the power situation in the country is epileptic as manufacturers in the country “will abandon the country to neighbouring countries while inferior goods will flood the Nigerian market”.
Minister of Power, Mallam Saleh Mamman in his remarks pledged the ministry’s collaboration with the National Assembly to provide efficient and reliable power supply to Nigerians.Senate Committee Chairman on Power, Senator Gabriel Torwua Suswam said the decision to hold the Roundtable Discussion arose from the resolution of Senate at plenary to look into the issues confronting the power sector in the country.He regretted that Nigeria with the second highest population in the world lacked adequate power supply and this has impinged on her developmental efforts.