"Power sector draining national treasury" - Engineer Okoye

The power sector has accused of draining Nigeria’s treasury by hundreds of billions of Naira despite being privatised more than three years ago. The Chairman, Nigerian Society of Engineers Board of Fellows, Chris Okoye said this at an event in Abuja.

Okoye further said the excitement across the country at the time the sector was privatised had suddenly diminished among Nigerians as the current situation of the industry is awful.
On November 1, 2013, the Federal Government formally transferred 60 per cent of the public stake in 11 electricity distribution companies and six generation firms to the private sector.
Okoye noted that the privatisation decision and campaign were hinged on the need to reduce the heavy pressure on the public treasury for basic infrastructure provision and bring efficiency into electricity business in Nigeria.
However, on September 30, 2014, despite all efforts, the Federal Government announced a loan of N213bn to the privatised power firms.
On March I, 2017, the Federal Executive Council announced the provision of N701bn as Power Assurance Guarantee for the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company for two years to pay the generation firms.
Adekunle Mokuolu, Chris Okoye and Otis Anyaeji Deputy President of Nigerian Society of Engineers(NSE), Mr. Adekunle Mokuolu (left); Chairman, NSE Board of Fellows, Mr. Chris Okoye; NSE President, Mr. Otis Anyaeji
(The Guardian)

He said, “In other words, there is tremendous pressure on the national treasury for the provision of electricity in Nigeria. Still, electricity supply has deteriorated, and not improved since the privatisation. Nigeria is struggling to generate 4,000 megawatts. The highest output ever recorded, to the best of my knowledge, was 5,517MW, and this was in February, 2015.

“The transmission network is weak and fragile owing to old age and poor maintenance. The four-year management contract to Manitoba Hydro International of Canada, which cost Nigeria $23m in the first three years, ended in 2016 without the Transmission Company of Nigeria becoming a technically and financially efficient company as envisaged.”
Okoye also stated that the power distribution companies in Nigeria appeared to have a peculiar challenge.
Very few of the consortia, which took ownership and management of the Discos from November 1, 2013, were prepared for their new roles. In fact, we witnessed brazen political interference in the privatisation of the companies,” he said.
The Ministry of Power, Works and Housing is under the administration of ex-Governor of Lagos State, Babatude Fashola.

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