FG admits lack of central coordination responsible for the epileptic power supply
The Federal Government admitted that the clear lack of central coordination, massive infrastructural deficit are the main causes of challenges facing the power sector in the country.
The government has also said that the central root issue responsible for the epileptic situation in the power sector has to do with lack of Central Coordination within the Sector.
Minister of Power, Engr. Sale Mamman, attributed the challenges in the Sector to massive inftrastrurual deficit existing within the electricity value chain.
The Minister was speaking in Abuja when he appeared before the Senate Investigative Hearing on Power Sector Recovery Plan and the impact of Coronavirus, COVID- 19.
He also stated that COVID-19 has affected the Purchasing Power of Consumers, Payment Capability of Electricity Consumers.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Senator Gabriel Suswam, is carrying out an investigation, with a view to ascertain the reasons for inefficiency and under- performance in terms of stable and adequacy electricity supply in the power sector in spite of huge financial interventions by the Federal Government and donors.
According to the Minister, the power sector is also grappling with the challenge of infrastructural misalignment, market inefficiency/transparency, sector governance/policy coordination, increase access to energy and completion of legacy projects, adding.
“The outbreak of the Coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic has affected the Purchasing Power of Consumers, Payment Capability of Electricity Consumers as well as the demand for electricity in general. A lot of Capital Investment in the sector was dependent on donor funding, Loans and budgetary allocation.
“The current situation in the Nigerian Power Sector is that in which a lot of capital investment is being made, most of which is dependent on donor funding, loans and budgetary allocation.
“There are projects that we have already secured their funding, we do not expect any adverse effect. We are proactively seeking strategies that will enable us anticipate the impact and plan for it so as to enable us deliver within the projected timelines. This explains our prayer for the Distinguished Senators to consider and approve additional funding for the execution of the various projects we are undertaking.
“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has also affected our laid out plan for the repositioning of the electricity market towards financial sustainability under the Power Sector Recovery Programme (PSRP). Initially, the Regulator, following the completion of public consultation on tariff review, planned on conducting a tariff review in April 2020. However, due to COVID-19 and customer apathy, the proposed tariff review was delayed by 3 months. The impact of this means the subsidy being incurred in maintaining the current tariff level had to be maintained till July 2020 when the proposed tariff review will be implemented.
“The challenge we are currently facing in the development and expansion of our transmission line is budget and release of FG’s commitment in the estimated sum of N32 billion primarily for Right of Way acquisition and environmental impact mitigation. The fund should be provided for in the 2020, 2021, and 2022 Appropriation of the Ministry of Power.
“We believe solving two challenges alone, would not only redress these challenges, but will also unlock the Sector for investment, efficiency and service delivery, bringing affordable and stable power to the nation.
“It is thus fortuitous that President Muhammadu Buhari has championed the Siemens Electrification Plan under the Presidential Power Initiative, as the central theme of the Government’s strategy in the Sector.
“It is our only choice to once and for all resolve the longstanding issue of the Power Sector”.
“I believe that all efforts rendered by the many relevant stakeholders within the stakeholders should be aligned with the PPI for maximum effectiveness in implementation.
The Minister, however, assured that the Challenges in the Power Sector would soon fade into relative insignificance.