Power sector privatisation made rich Nigerians richer – Ajaero  

Kunle Kalejae 18 November 2015, Sweetcrude, Lagos – General Secretary of the National Union of Electricity Employees, Comrade Joe Ajaero, has undertaken an assessment of the nation’s power sector two years after privatisation, asserting that the exercise only made some rich people richer at the expense of the generality of Nigerians.

Joe Ajaero

Joe Ajaero

Ajaero, who spoke in an interview with SweetcrudeReports in Lagos, said: “The power situation has not improved. The whole reform in the power sector is all about profit for some people. In order words, it is ‘private gains, public disaster’. That is the summary of the whole privatisation process”.

He maintained that the improved power supply being seen in some parts of the country was not real as the operators were over-flogging the thermal power stations to create the impression of improved power generation.
He said: The improvement in power supply that we are witnessing now usually happens by this time of the year when the water level is usually high and what they (operators) did this year is to flog thermal stations to give the impression that it is privatisation that has brought about this improvement.
“Meanwhile, some of the gas power stations are caving in because what we do in power plants management is to make sure that ‎during the period the water level is high we make maximum use of hydro stations and use that opportunity to do turn-around maintenance of one or two gas stations.
“But to score a cheap point – which was what former Minister of Power, Professor Barth Nnaji did sometime ago before privatisation – they had to over-flog the power plants to generate electricity and everybody is thinking there is an improvement”.
The NUEE General Secretary stressed that the improvement was not real as “everything will nose-dive once water level starts going down”.
“To me, nothing has happened except that we have created the super rich, created the billionaires club among the so-called owners because the defunct PHCN (Power Holding Company of Nigeria) was making N2 billion, whereas some of them (the new investors) are now making almost N4 billion, and yet they are telling you that they must increase tariff,” Ajaero added.
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