The National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) was broken down into the Power Holding Company Nigeria Ltd. (PHCN) in April 2005, giving birth to a total of 18 new companies which were created for proven generation and distribution; and to ensure effective, efficient and stable power. But the changes have only been cosmetic. Blackouts are widespread across the country’s biggest city here, and the capital,
Corruption is rampant in the new electricity companies – six generating companies, 11 distributors and one transmitting – and little is being done to check it. Some technical staff has even been caught taking bribes from defaulting consumers for turning a blind eye. However, top officials of the PHCN claim the power reforms have been successful. They say that revenue generation has gone up by 133 percent between 2006 and 2007.Nigerians should judge PHCN on the basis of the revenue index, rather than performance or service delivery. According to figures released by the organization, the monthly revenue generation they claimed grew from an average of about 25 million dollars in 2006 to the current 58 million dollars in October 2007.
But opinion analysts have argued that the claim was a lip-service, insisting that the only way of looking at the increase in revenue is to match the revenue with a corresponding leap in service orientation and power supply. For instance, Oyigbo (a
An informal market survey by IPS showed that portable generators, that are everywhere in the poor rural settlements, sell for between 830 dollars and 1,000 dollars depending on the capacity. Medium-sized establishments rely on industrial generators which could cost anything from 7,874 dollars to 23,622 dollars. Trying to get around the acute power shortage, some state governments have resorted to establishing Independent Power Production (IPP) companies to boost electricity production. For instance, the
The previous regime boast as if the power generated at the Omoku power station would be make-up to the national grid of the PHCN for sufficiency of the regions consumers, but the reverse became the outcome. Again, the Trans Amadi Power Station, a similar project built by the said state government in 2002 was arguably productive as to augment the already supplied electricity through the PHCN to the Trans Amadi Industrial Estate in
Previously encouraged by the ”gas-to power” electricity project, the Obasanjo government planned to construct seven such power stations at a cost of 2.5 billion dollars in the other Niger Delta states. The Niger Delta comprises nine oil-producing states and part of Ondo state in western
The private sector has a pivotal role to play in meeting the power requirement for the development of the country. A suitable framework is required to be put in place to facilitate the private sector involvement in this highly capital intensive power and gas sector. The ex-president lured the World Bank to commit itself in the gas-to-power project, alleging his loyalty for the Institution for providing the necessary transparency checks on the processes of the project. He accorded them with a new power generation expansion plan programme released by his administration and made available to IPS, projecting electricity generation by PHCN to hit 15,853 MW by 2010.
PHCN, according to the document, planed to achieve the new generation output by building up its capacity steadily over the subsequent five years, through the total resuscitation of all existing power stations, and contributions from Independent Power Producers (IPPs). We applauded them step based on a strong conviction that all our plants, currently undergoing repairs, would be brought on stream by this time towards 2010. We were also very confident that by then, all the IPPs, ongoing Federal Government power projects, the proposed Niger Delta power stations and the proposed Joint Venture Independent Power Projects (JVIPPs) with oil and gas firms and other IPPs would have come on stream by now.
The existing power stations and their installed capacities are: Egbin Thermal Station,
Today, it was alleged that the presidency was so much scandalized by the huge waste that characterized government’s investment of over $10 billion in such power sector. Yar’adua, according to the government official, deliberately kept silent to understudy the past administration in order to move the country from the woods. His recent pronouncement that the previous administration spent a whopping $10 billion with nothing to show indicates that the weak president Nigerians expect from the Yar’adua Presidency is not true. Yar’adua, in a national television interview, explained that the state of emergency in the power sector was not feasible because the government was yet to formulate the structural framework for such a declaration. He further revealed that the government was working out the detail with a view to sending it to the National Assembly.
Contrary to the above revelation, the speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole, said over $16 billion was actually spent in the sector by the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. This was as the House Committee on Power and Steel set to summon Governors Segun Agagu of Ondo, Liyel Imoke of
Agagu, Imoke and Goje having served as ministers of power and steel during the Obasanjo Administration would have an outstanding evidence to show, while Suswam was a one-time chairman of the House Committee on Power and Steel in the same direction. The note revealed that over $6 billion addition to the figure represents extra-budgetary spending on the sector was earmarked during the said period. The huge money sunk into the power sector without much to show for it is heart-breaking and an attribute of colossal waste on the poor budget planning and lack of proper oversight by the relevant bodies.
Viewing Yar’Adua as a man, who has the interest of the people of heart, the economic program of the present administration have been so designed to address the myriad of problems the nation has been facing over the years. I have no doubt that the President will build the nation to attain the height of being one of the 20th largest economies in the world by the year 2020.
It is refreshing to note that in less than a month, more than five companies have arrived in
The country has vast reserves of oil and the potential to be one of
The Yar’Adua administration should plan to crack down on contract fraud that has a multibillion-dollar loophole, this proposal could force companies to report abuse of taxpayer money, including projects to secure and rebuild this nation. For decades, contractors have been siphoning the nation dry though frivolous, fictitious and fake contracts resulting to internal fraud or overpayment on government-funded projects. The contractors should be compelled to notify the government if they find evidence of contract abuse of more than N100 million. Failure to comply could make a company ineligible for future government work. The proposed should rules, which may come in the final approval stages, specifically exempt ,contracts to be performed outside the this nation.
I hate to sound cynical, but what lobbyist working for a contractor in this nation wanted this get-out-of-jail card for? I’m not saying that’s the way it went – I’m just suggesting that’s the most logical line to draw, I think somebody’s got some explaining to do. We do not agree with also excluding contracts performed entirely outside the shore. These types of contracts, which in many cases support our efforts to fight the global war on corruption, need greater contractor vigilance because they are performed with diligence. The government procurement policy shouldn’t be exempted.
Some people have argued that one way by which the citizens of
As an agitator of Nigeria4BetterRule, I wouldn’t mind paying the 5% fuel tax if it wasn’t being wasted on completely unnecessary pork and barren road projects as seen in power sector. Maybe the president should come to the Oyigbo; a suburb of
It should be noted that all those people who mean well for this country, both within and outside the country, after congratulating the members of the new government, have always added caveat – you have mammoth problems ahead of you and one of them is the poor electricity status of Nigeria.
It is very clear that this administration is aware of the fact that after two full years, if