31 May 2015, Abuja – As President Muhammadu Buhari assumes the mantle of leadership, a group under the aegis of Coalition of Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, has urged him to sustain the reform in the power sector, saying any attempt to jettison the map out planned towards improving power supply in Nigeria will retard the growth envisaged in the coming years.
In a statement issued on Saturday in Abuja on the review of the activities of the Ministry of Power, signed by its president, Etuk Williams, the group pleaded that the infrastructural development laws be modified in order to allow states to use their generated power without sending it to the national grid.
Williams, who commended the efforts of former President Goodluck Jonathan on the reform he initiated in the sector, revealed that the reform was a carefully thought-out plan to reposition the power sector which was also capable of unlocking the economic potential in the sector and also as the vehicle to implement the Nigerian Electricity Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act in 2005.
Williams lamented that the effort made by the previous governments under the Nigerian Integrated Power projects (NIPP) in the Niger Delta areas was wasting away due to gas supply challenge, and stressed that gas pricing constitutes a huge challenge to the NIPP initiative as well as the issue of hostility in the host communities.
He stated: “It is regrettable that most of the power plants proposed or being built were located in places where no gas transportation and transmission facilities existed. However, the repositioning of the NIPPs having commissioned them is commendable.
“For rapid development in this sector, the infrastructural development laws should be modified to allow for states to use their generated power without sending it to national grid,” it recommended.
The group advised that henceforth, politicians should not be appointed as ministers in the power sector, while transition lines should be upgraded and weak lines changed.
It advocated that, “Adequate supply of gas should be pursued with more vigour” and called on vandals to stop destroying the nation’s gas pipelines, and other sources of power generation should be implored, such as renewable energy.
He said though the reform in the power sector was to spur investment in Nigeria with the successful unbundling of the sector into 11 Distribution Companies (DISCOs), six Generating Companies (GENCOs), and a Transmission Company (TCN) but that more needed to be done.
*Adedayo Akinwale – Thisday