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Gbajabiamila blames successive governments over poor power supply, but fails to identify role played by institution he leads

FEMI Gbajabiamila, Nigeria’s Speaker of the House of Representatives on Wednesday condemned the inability of successive governments to improve power generation and distribution in the country

Gbajabiamila said there is a need for legislative intervention in the power sector.

He spoke through Idris Ahmed Wase, the Deputy Speaker who represented him at the declaration of a two-day investigative public hearing.

According to him, a very little has been achieved in the power sector despite the huge investments that have gone into the sector.

“It is no longer news that despite huge investments in the power sector, little progress may have been made,” Gbajabiamila said.

“It is becoming increasingly, worrisome that successive governments have been unable to fix the issue of power in our country.”

Explaining the crux of the problem, the speaker said that Nigeria has struggled with the issue of power for a long time despite the efforts made by many to revive the sector.

He was however silent on how the National Assembly that approves budget for capital projects in the country performed its function in all the contracts awarded to revamp the power sector.

Gbajabiamila announced that a ad-hoc committee was set up on May 12, to undertake a holistic review of the power sector and to recommend legislative action to the House of Representatives.

Alhassan Ado Doguwa, Chairman of the Committee, said  the Committee has started taking steps to understand the problem and proffer solutions.

“While we appreciate the agency for generating 10,000 MWs, the greatest issue bedevilling the sector after the unbundling of the defunct National Electric Power Authority is the inability to effectively transmit & distribute electricity supply across the country,” Doguwa said.

According to Power Africa fact sheet, the biggest problems facing Nigeria’s power sector include, Macroeconomic forces, lack of creditworthy utilities and lack of transparent regulator.

However, Bukola Saraki, a former Senate President, in 2017, submitted that the government is to be blamed for the failure of the Nigerian power sector.

While speaking at a two-day stakeholders interactive workshop/dialogue on finding a lasting solution to the challenges facing the power sector, Saraki noted that the current state of the country’s power industry was not an accident but a result of deliberate and sometimes innocent mistakes by the government over the years.

Meanwhile, in October 2019, Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance disclosed that the country acquired a new loan of $3 billion from the World Bank to address transmission and distribution challenge in the power sector.

Ahmed said that the loan was to be released in four tranches of $750 million each, with an aim for the first bulk to be released in April 2020.

 

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