The Nigeria power sector has over the years remained in a failing state despite the whooping N900 billion invested into the sector by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, since assumption of office in the year 2015.
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, who paid a courtesy visit to the Asagba of Asaba, Professor Chike Edozien, on Friday, revealed that the present administration has so far invested in terms of support, the sum of N700 billion after the sector received an earlier investment of N200 billion. According to him, another N600 billion investment is being pumped into the sector presently.
“Since assumption of office, we have invested so far in terms of support N700 billion in the power sector. Earlier, we invested N200 billion. However, the Federal Government was in the process of investing another N600 billion.’
Prof. Osinbajo further stated that the aim of the investment was to ameliorate the challenges being experienced in the sector. He said the challenges were associated with Distribution Companies (Discos) controlling a territory, without power supply to the region, amongst other things. The Federal Government had decided to take a second look into the sector to reposition it.
The Vice President also noted that one of the strategies the administration is employing to revamp the sector is restructuring, as power supply has been a major challenge to businesses in the country.
“And now we are saying that any company that wants to provide power to any territory, should be able to provide power for the territory and the people. We have been able to break the existing monopoly in the power sector. Whether upgrade or not, the discos should be able to serve the people.
Another strategy we are trying to introduce is to open up the power sector by restructuring.’
Prof. Edozien, who lauded the efforts of the Vice President, appealed to the Federal Government to intervene in the situation, as most businesses within the state depend on power supply to thrive.
After the privatisation of the 11 Distribution Companies of the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) in 2013, the Federal Government of Nigeria retained 40% of the equity in the DISCos, while it divested 60% to private investors. Few years after the privatization exercise, the sector seeks huge investments to be functional at optimal capacity.