Senate Probes Unwholesome Practices In Power Sector

Senate Probes Unwholesome Practices In Power Sector
Senate House

As the dust raised over Senate’s probe of the EFCC, Nigeria Customs Service and FIRS is yet to settle, the upper chamber is set for yet again another probe.

To this end, the Senate has inaugurated a committee to conduct extensive investigation into allegations of unwholesome practices in the power sector.

The Ad-hoc Committee on Power is charged with the task of looking closely into the entire power value chain (generation, transmission and distribution)‎ with a view to identifying the problems bedeviling the sector.

Chairman of the Committee, Abubakar Kyari, explained that the committee would beam its searchlight in the unbundling of the power sector, which was midwifed by the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE).

He said stakeholders in the power sector would be asked to provide needed information in order to achieve the committee’s objectives.

The committee, Kyari said, would seek inputs from the establishment on the process of privatisation as it relates to funds committed to the exercise, funds generated, and the settlement of laid off staff of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).

Hs said: “A close look at the entire power value chain (generation, transmission and distribution) calls for review of our policies in order to obtain optimum performances across the
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 170million people, despite the huge resources committed into it. This compared with our contemporaries is highly regrettable. No wonder so many companies have relocated from the shores of this nation, due to increasing cost of production.

“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. Deteriorating infrastructures in this segment must be addressed forthwith. The Committee attaches great importance to this and would work assiduously in ensuring that all these leakages or slippages in this area are brought to the front burner and dealt with.

“It is in line with this objective that the Committee would be seeking explanations from the Management of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) on the terms of their Management Contract with the Federal Government as it relates to assets inherited, funds injected into the Company so far and the achievement recorded.”

On the Distribution Segment, Kyari said the Committee is desirous of ascertaining the level of funds committed into it before privatisation since the segment is currently solely
private sector driven.

The senator also disclosed that the Committee would also probe estimated billings and imposition of fixed charges for services not rendered.

In his remarks, Senate President, Bukola Saraki who inaugurated the committee lamented the continued absence of regular supply of electricity despite the country’s huge investments in the sector.

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