The Federal Government has spent over N1.7 trillion on the power sector in the last three years, a report submitted to the National Economic Council (NEC) on Thursday shows.
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A committee, led by Nasir El-Rufai, Kaduna State Governor, to investigate the ownership structure of power distribution companies in the country submitted the report. He said after meeting for five times, the committee found that the problems of the power sector were enormous and required declaring a “national emergency” to find solutions.
El-Rufai lamented that spending N1.7 trillion on a privatised sector does not reflect its true status. He said the problems bedeviling the sector is as serious as declaring a national emergency.
“The full report will be ready soon, hopefully in February. The power sector is complicated and requires enormous time to really go to the root of the problems.
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“Nigeria will go nowhere unless we have stable power. Right now, we shall invite members of the general public to also give their views by sending in memoranda to the committee. The owners of the power companies too, we will get their views.
“The objective is: how do we fix the power sector?,” he said.
El-Rufai pointed out the problems to be lack of capacity, tariff issues and poor funding. He said the entire privatisation process was no properly done, saying his committee would make thorough findings as well as solutions, which he said may not be nice.
The governor also said NEC gave a nod to the proposal to pull N2 trillion from the pensions fund for investment in infrastructure development.
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He explained that the money would be set aside to be accessed by the private sector to invest in road and rail infrastructure on a long-term basis.
However, he said all the legal requirements would first be worked out before the money would be pulled out in line with the 20 per cent ceiling approved by the Pension Reform Act for investment.