Friday, January 24, 2020 7:10 am
The National Economic Council(NEC)’s committee on review of the status and ownership of Electricity Distribution Companies(DisCos), says it will seek contributions from the general public on how to solve the challenge of electricity in Nigeria.
Gov. Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, who chairs the committee, briefed State House correspondents after the NEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
El Rufai said that the committee presented a report to NEC on the progress made so far and also on the need to get inputs from as many Nigerians as possible.
“The committee met five times since its inauguration of Dec. 5, 2019; we have significant progress in getting presentations from all the stakeholders in the electricity supply industry.
“We all agreed that the electricity supply industry is broken and the situation of the power sector is a national emergency that requires all hands to be put on deck to interrogate why the sector is not working for the overall progress and benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians.
“We have received presentations from virtually all the stakeholders; we came to ask that we co-opt the Association of Electricity Distribution Companies in Nigeria to be members of the committee and the Association of Electricity Generating Companies in Nigeria and NEC approved that.
“We updated NEC on what we have found so far, and promised that work on this will continue and we will submit our report in the shortest possible time.
“But the electricity industry is complicated; it is quite complex and technical; even those of us that have been asked to be members of the committee are learning a lot in the various presentations; sometimes conflicting presentations are received from various stakeholders in the power sector.”
He said that there was need for an honest national conversation to find a way to fix the sector as the country would never make progress, create jobs or industrialise without a functioning electricity industry.
“As part of our request, we asked from NEC to not only receive memoranda and inputs from participants from the industry, but, for the very first time, to open this conversation to members of the public.
“ So, we are inviting memoranda through newspaper adverts placements very soon, inviting memoranda from the general public; everyone in Nigeria is affected by electricity and we want to hear your views on what you think is wrong with the sector; what your experiences are in dealing with the distribution companies; what you think are solutions to these problems.’’