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Why Nigeria can’t be self-sufficient in power supply – experts



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Experts in the energy sector have said Nigeria will find it difficult to be self-sufficient in electricity generation and supply because the sector was not well structured, and most importantly, the process of privatisation of the sector was grossly fraudulent.

Recall that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission last month announced another increase in electricity tariffs which it said would take effect from September 1, 2021.

However, the experts cautioned against any increase at the moment, instead calling for holistic overhauling of the sector as they give conditions for Nigeria to have an efficient and sufficient Power supply.

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According to Yemi Oke, a Professor of Energy Law, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, would continue to increase electricity tariffs because the legal framework of the sector has not been followed, and as a result, Nigeria would never get to its desired destination of self-sufficient power supply for all Nigerians.

“We can’t do the right thing in the wrong way or the wrong thing in the right way. How can the federal government subsidize a sector that has been privatised? The subsidy is not beneficial to Nigerians. There is massive fraud in the system.

He continues, “It is high time Nigeria moved out of centralized governance of the electricity sector, we need a concurrent power sector regime. There are regulatory lapses and inefficiency. We need to revisit the process of privatisation,” he added.

On his part, the Secretary-General, Nigerian Union of Electricity Employee (NUEE) Joe Ajaero, stressed that it was unfortunate the federal government would always deny a hike in tariffs but later enforce on it Nigerians, adding that the tariff electricity consumers have paid after privatisation has increased by 400 percent.

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According to him, such a decision to increase the Electricity tariff was insensible as citizens groan in agony noting that the goodwill of the president was at stake. “This decision is not competitive at all, it weakens our economy. I think there is a powerful clique and regulatory hijack that has taken over which makes them ignore us when we ask questions or call for discourse,” he asserted.

Also speaking, the president, Nigeria Electricity Consumer Protection Network, Kunle Olubiyo, said most federal government’s Policies are suffocating Nigerians adding that there is a need for the NERC Act 2021, to be specifically tailored to the activities of NERC.

“We supposed to move to the post-transition Electricity market and have specific rules because there are a lot of gaps, so we need institutional, governance, Regulatory and legal reform framework and revisit the obnoxious 2013 privatisation exercise which was done to entrench monopoly to alienate the masses, and until this done, we won’t get it right with the power sector. Let Mr President lift this elitist yoke off our necks,” he charged.

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