13 August 2013, Abuja – The federal government has restated that the power sector reform through its liberalisation policy remains sacrosanct to the achievement of the economic growth plans embedded in Nigeria’s Vision 20:2020.
It explained that within the liberalisation efforts, the role of Independent Power Projects, IPPs, is enormously significant and will not be toyed with considering the expected ratio of competition that will help turnaround the country’s power sector within time, thus, providing the practical platform to achieve objectives in the long-term economic plan.
Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, said recently in Abuja at a forum organised by German power firm, Siemens, that: “Achieving Vision 2020 depends on a robust power sector and IPPs are indeed the answers to our quest to grow our power generation capacity.”
Nebo also explained that government’s commencement of payment of agreed severance benefits of retiring workers of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, signified that the privatisation process was coasting home. He added that government has continued to intensify efforts in attracting private sector led investments into the power sector as the only way to close up extant gaps in the sector.
“The results of the last 40 years of government’s involvement in the power sector have made it imperative to open it up to the private sector. We are putting in place robust mechanism to ensure delivery of generated power because over time, there was not a systemic x-ray of the sector to determine its needs,” he stated.
The minister also noted that the rising incidences of vandalism of electric power assets across the country were unwholesome practices that would only serve to set back the sector from growing. According to him, the modest achievements recorded in the sector stand the risk of being eroded by the act.
A recent report on Nigeria’s infrastructure needs prepared for the federal government by the African Development Bank, AfDB, indicated that electric power and transport are seen as major constraints on business activity and growth in Nigeria.
The report showed that in comparison with most developing nations, Nigeria’s capital power consumption in kilowatt per hour (Kw/h) is pegged at 136 while about $62.658 billion was estimated in the report as needed for development expenditures in the country’s power sector.
Nigeria with its large economy that has steadily grown at a seven percent rate faces the challenge of translating such economic growth into poverty reduction and reduced social inequality majorly as a result of her poor infrastructure base amongst others.
– This Day