By Stephen Ubanna
At long last President Muhammady Buhari , a retired Army General has deregulated the Electricity sector of the economy which have put Nigerians at the mercy of the service providers. This is because the Federal government has removed subsidy on electricity tariffs , thus giving the Electricity distribution companies the leeway to review their tarriffs every six months.
Sanusi Garba, Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, may have known the mistakes of the the NNPC, Chief Executive Officer, CEO, and he supervising mister of the ministry Petroleum Resources to keep Nigerians informed on what is happening in the sector and why the price of Petrol has increased in spite of the fact that Nigeria is making more money from oil Sales s due to the Ukraine and Russia war which has entered its fourth week to open up on why electricity tariff may continue to go up.
Garba , the NERC, Chairman, had said that ‘’the Buhari led All Progressive Congress , APC, government has removed electricity subsidies’’. He had said that that the review of the country’s electricity tariff was ‘’conducted in line with the multi-year tariff order that mandates that tariff should be reviewed every six months, meaning that the electricity tariff would continue to go up.
He noted that the review has become necessary because the nation has continued to witness energy crisis and petrol queues, rising diesel costs due to high exchange rate and increasing oil price in the international oil market which have made the offshore petroleum products produce to increase the price of their products for buyers. He was said to have further blamed the rising electricity tariff to ‘’the poor state of electricity supply to the vandalisation of gas pipelines to power plants across the country, particular, in the Niger Delta area, plants maintenance and a trip on the 30KV line from Ugheli power plant.
The poor power supply situation in the country may have been made worse by the frequent national grid collapses. This may have informed why the NERC boss has enjoined the 12 electricity Distribution Companies, DISCO, in the country to reach out to their Customers to intimate them of the regular tariff review outcomes and cost of power instead of keeping it a closely guided secret that may still burst out which could throw the country into a serious energy crisis.
Only recently the National grid broke down which threw most parts of Lagos, the nation’s industrial city and major Commercial nerve centre and Enugu, Nigeria Coal city into total blackout but Abubakar Aliyu, minister of power had said that the broken down grid has been fully restored
Given insider information of the how the electricity engineers were able to do it, the minister disclosed that several solutions have emerged from a series of emergency meetings held in the ministry , where all the stakeholders were said to have discussed the problem and resoved all bickerings, which may have informed to government removal of electricity tariffs to give the service providers to charge based on the service provided.
The minister had said that the Generation Companies in the country has the capacity to produce 13 MW delivery to the Discos , through the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, but due to the ageing grid , that have not been achieved as only 4.200 MW, could be produced in the recent time.
Between 2015 and 202020, the Buhari Administration was said to have spent N1.5 trillion on the nation’s power sector but the situation still remains in a sorry state. Aliyu, the minister of Power, who could not hide his feelings had said that the country has yet to make real progress in existing power generation and supply.
Aware that the government cannot solve the country’s power challenges alone, may have informed the Power minister had said that ‘’ the government is willing to welcome more investors into Nigeria in a bid to reposition the sector’’. Aliyu may have spoken the Katsina state born Nigerian President mind when he received a delegation from the European Union, EU, to Nigeria led by the Union’s Ambassador to Nigeria and Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, Samuela Isopi, in his office, at Abuja , the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, as he stated that ‘’the government was working to reposition the state of power infrastructure in the country to guarantee stable power supply to Nigerians. He may have taken advantage of the EU delegation visit to the country to reiterate the Buhari Administration commitment ‘’to increase the country’s power supply by 30,000 MW by the year 3030 with 30% in renewable energy.
Kola Balogun, Chairman, Momas Electricity Meter Manufacturing Company, MEMMCOL, had challenged the Aliyu, the minister of Power on assumption of ‘’to chart a new roadmap to address the challenges of power generation, distribution and transmission in the in the nation’s power sector. The MEMMCOL, Chairman, had told the minister that there was urgent need to develop a ‘’roadmap that would define the goals of the power sector after seven years of Privatisation without achieving the desired results. He had expected the minister to consult with the critical stakeholders in the sector in order to come up with a Comprehensive roadmap that will transform it.
The minister may have seen the importance of the MEMMCOL Chairman Advice, after about three years in office that he met with major stakeholders in the country’s electricity sector recently ‘’to find a lasting solutions to the perennial power crisis’’. We must find solution to the nation’s power crisis ‘’ so that Nigerians would have electricity’’, he insists. He had admitted that Nigeria has been having electricity supply challenges for many years which cannot be solved in one day.
Recall that Balogun, the MEMMCOL, Chairman, had suggested the decentralisaton of the national grid, as a way out of the epileptic power supply in the country. He had said that ‘’there is need for every state and local government Area to go into power generation and distribution to people within its locality or even buy from the national grid’’, to save the country from the current power embarrassment that have gulped trilions of naira between 199 and now.