Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Yakubu Dogara, has queried the utilisation of N2.74 trillion spent on the power sector from 1999-2015, saying the sector depreciated more as more funds were pumped into it. Dogara, who was speaking at a 2-day stakeholders Interactive dialogue/workshop on the Nigerian Power Sector organised by the National Assembly at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, also noted that the challenges faced by the sector calls for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to address them.
“Perhaps the most important question is what happened to the N2.74 trillion spent on the sector from 1999-2015? Why is it that the more we spent on the power sector, the more darkness we attract?”, Dogara queried.
The Speaker said it is in order to change the epileptic power situation that the National Assembly organized the workshop as a platform for power sector experts and other stakeholders to do a holistic diagnosis of the challenges impeding the development of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) and proffer practical solutions.
“These challenges run across the entire power value chain of generation, transmission and distribution. The myriad issues are apparently exacerbated by inadequate funding, poor energy mix, fuel supply issues, flawed regulatory framework, commercial issues among others. There is, therefore, a need for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to address these myriad problems,” he stated.
“The diagnosis includes but is not limited to a critical analysis of the extant legislation and regulatory framework guiding the Nigerian Power Sector to determine if there is a need for amendments or enactment of new laws that will galvanize the sector to deliver the required results,” he added.
Dogara also urged the participants to focus on the following questions with an aim to finding answers that will lead to the repositioning of the power sector for effective delivery to Nigerians.
• Why has power generation remained at less than 5000MW since the last 56 years?
• Why have various policies by successive governments failed?
• Why has the transmission infrastructure remained inadequate in wheeling the available power?
• How can the Federal Government rapidly expand the transmission infrastructure?
• Why are electric meters not available to most consumers thereby leading to contentious estimated billing?
• How can NERC establish a cost reflective tariff and reduce inefficiency in support of affordable end user tariffs?
• Why has there not been an effective Gas Master Plan for Nigeria which would have preceded the building of the gas fired power plants?
• What is the solution to the perennial pipeline vandalism that disrupts delivery of gas to the gas fired power plants?
• What can be done to improve local and foreign investment in gas gathering, processing and distribution?
• Why is there local and foreign investor apathy in investing in the Nigerian power sector?
• Why are the local and foreign financial institutions not funding the sector?
• How can the FGN create and sustain a stable investment climate for private sector participation in the power sector?
• How can the FGN maintain a creditworthy off-taker (NBET) of electricity?
• How can we maximize options like mini hydro and small solar projects to power rural communities?
• Why are most of the companies licensed by NERC not able to start their projects?
• What can be done to improve the poor energy mix?
• Why has the FGN not embarked on Energy Conservation campaign that will emphasize the use of energy saving bulbs etc.?
• What kind of guarantee is needed by foreign investors to facilitate investment in the power sector?
• What role can the legislature play to facilitate a rapid development of the power sector?
• Is there a political will to tackle head on the challenges of the power sector?
• Is there any need for amendment of extant legislations or enactment of new laws to galvanize both local and foreign investment in the Nigerian power sector?