Reps commence power sector probe, seek better service delivery

The House of Representatives on Wednesday began the power sector probe with a view to repositioning it for better service delivery.

The investigation is being conducted by the House ad hoc committee chaired by the Majority Leader of the House, Rep. Ado Doguwa (APC/Kano).

Declaring the investigative hearing open, House Speaker, Femi Gbajabimila said that it is no longer news that in spite of huge investments in the power sector, little progress has been made.

Gbajabiamila, who was represented by the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase (APC/Plateau), said that it is becoming increasingly worrisome that successive governments have been unable to fix the nation’s power sector.

“With the current state of electricity supply, it apparently dampens the hopes of landmark industrialisation and national development.

“At the onset of the 9th House of Representatives, we proposed a legislative agenda that sought to initiate comprehensive review of all legislations relating to the power sector.

“Today’s activity is an attempt to walk the walk; this investigative hearing is the premise upon which the House of Representatives shall amass adequate information to guide us in causing the required and appropriate legislative intervention in the power sector,” he said.

Earlier, Rep. Doguwa said that the ad -hoc committee has been given the mandate to kick -start activities relating to the investigation and review of activities of the power sector, adding that the power sector is critical to national industrialisation and development.

He said that the greatest issue bedevilling the power sector after the unbundling of the defunct National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) is the inability to effectively transmit and distribute power supply to consumers across the country.

“The sector is also confronted with the issue of liquidity; with the gas suppliers claiming billions of naira being owed them.

“Another major challenge is the fact that the tariffs are not cost reflective; it is in fact becoming clearer from a layman’s perspective that the DisCos and transmission agents must do more if we anticipate any form of improved electricity supply in the country.

“The inability of some of these institutions to meet the covenant obligations they entered into at the time of privatisation has reduced the capacity to enable reliable and quality electricity supply for both domestic and commercial use.

“Sadly, it appears to the common man that there is hike in electric tariff without corresponding increase in quantity and quality of electricity supply. This is indeed, the crux of the matter under the mandate of this ad hoc committee,” he said.

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Managing Director, Niger Delta Power Holding Company, Mr. Chiedu Ugbo said that the company had made intervention worth eight billion dollars in the power sector.

He said that the agencies is making intervention in power generation, transition, distribution and home solar system.

Ugbo said that the company has completed six power plants while two were partially completed and that all were connected to the national grid.

The managing director said that the company provided 20,000 home solar systems across northern Nigeria in 2017, explaining that the company is visible in every state and zones across the country, ensuring that all parts of the society is connected to the national grid.

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