Written By Edesiri Vuevu
The Former Chairman, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, Sam Amadi has attributed the problem in the power sector to political scheming between the executive and legislative arms of government.
He said this during an exclusive chat with the crew of Siverbird Television on the popular programme “Today On STV”, Friday episode.
According to him, the inquest into what is wrong with the power sector ought to be much more rigorous and systematic. The power sector has been sought of an obsession with political leaders particularly those in the National Assembly.
He explained that the power sector would need more of rigorous examination, interrogation, a special congressional commission and a special National Assembly legislative commission made up of people who ought to know and take a critical look at the power sector.
He stated that the power sector totally collapsed when the Nigerian Electric Power Policy was set up and had gone as low as 1500megawatts. “The idea behind it is to solve the problem of power scarcity through innovation built around private sector, so whether it is privatization or deregulation the idea is that there’s need of financing and public sector requirement on infrastructure on the government,” he stated.
Amadi was of the view that the country would need to involve the private sectors to invest and to partner the private sectors so as to make the market attractive.
To him, there are two things needed; to commercialize the value chain and ensure profitability through tariff regime, which means it will be a business that is profitable and as well as accessibility.
However, he added that in 2005, the country had set up a regulator and then in 2009 the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) was dismantled on false allegation on corruption and ex-President Umoru Yar’adua’s Government made a mistake of reversing the movement towards privatization and mobilization.
He further explained that the government needed to nurture a culture of commitment and regulatory certainty over some significant period of time to see significant results.
“Power is not something you dismantle and pull up again it is a structure which means there are policies which we should not discontinue. Today we would have had comfort and investors would have come to these markets and then we would have started focusing on repairing the distribution network, sell service efficiently, and renew finance degeneration value chain. All these things are too much to be solved by the slender argument of private sector” he said.
He posited that, today, there is a market failure of financing in the private sector, because those finances are predicated on used valuation which becomes difficult for government to solve on one false hope.
“The other problem is that of private management, the idea was to have National Integrated Power Project. (NIPP) to give us some capacity years back, by now they should have given us 4700megawatts which would have favoured the country but failed to develop those projects due to the fact that there was inherent corruption, inherent failure of project development, awarded contracts to those who did not have the capacity to revive this power.
His final view was “if the country had settled down to get rigorous congressional commission, modeling on the power sector and also review the policy of the national electoral policy in 2000 thoroughly, it would have helped this new government to have a recovery economic agenda concerning power sector in the country”.