02 February 2015, Abuja – The Federal Government has started installing electronic monitors to check the vandalism of gas pipelines as part of measures aimed at ensuring regular power supply, the Minister of State for Power, Mr. Mohammed Wakil, has said.
He expressed confidence that the recent privatisation of the power sector would soon yield visible results, noting that South Africa was already emulating the exercise, which he described as a model for many other countries.
Wakil said this on Saturday in an interview with journalists in Abuja.
The minister said in due course, Nigerians would soon be taking power supply for granted.
He said, “Power supply will become what Nigerians can take for granted. We are expanding investment in the transmission sector through the involvement of the private sector.
“The distribution companies are investing in system upgrade, like South Africa is about to start. The generation companies are busy with the upgrade, especially after the administration had addressed the gas-to-power issue. We are installing electronic monitors to check incessant vandalism of gas pipelines by enemies of the nation.”
Wakil said South Africa was emulating the Nigerian privatisation model for the transformation of its ailing energy sector.
This, he argued, was a vindication of the durability of the policies and programmes of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration.
He said the crisis rocking the South African power sector had necessitated the country to draft a power sector privatisation bill now before its parliament.
The minister said, “Nigeria has become a model for power sector reforms in Africa. A bill, almost like our 2005 Electricity Sector Reform Act, is in the works in the South African parliament. We must commend Mr. President for this.
“When the PDP government started the reform, many Nigerians questioned the wisdom behind it. When President Jonathan launched the power sector reform road map in 2010, critics sounded cynical. Today, we are getting the required results.
“We have teething problems but we are addressing them. I am proud as a Nigerian that the reform we have completed is what a great country on solid footing is copying.
“From generation to transmission and distribution, positive growth is happening. Each sub-sector is addressing issues that emerged from the reform. I want to reassure Nigerians that we have a world-acclaimed power sector form.”
Wakil said although the nation had not reached its desired destination in term of uninterrupted power supply, “we are on the road to reaching that goal. We have passed a critical stage. We are now on the final lap.”