Port Harcourt — Stakeholders have criticized the Federal Government, over plans to connect the Republic of Chad, to Nigeria’s national electricity grid.
This is as the Federal Government at the weekend disclosed that it was considering supplying electricity to Chad, following a recent request by the neighboring country.
The Transmission Company of Nigeria, said that a meeting between the Ministry of Power, TCN, and the Chadian Minister of Energy, Mrs. Ramatou Mahamat Houtouin, was held last week to discuss the possibilities of connecting Chad to the country’s national grid.
TCN had also announced that Chadian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Abakar Chachaimi, had formally requested the Nigerian government to connect them to the Nigerian electricity grid, in order to ease the burden of power supply in the country.
But stakeholders have kicked against the development, explaining that the plan was a misplaced priority and not necessary, especially since Nigeria was yet to meet the demand electricity needed for manufacturing in the country.
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, described the development as highly uncharitable and policy rascality of the political class, as the plan does not promote industrial growth in the country.
PENGASSAN Chairman, Port Harcourt Zone, Azubuike Azubuike, said it was heartless to sell electricity to Chad for insignificant foreign exchange, while the nation’s economy bleeds as a result of no power for manufacturing and production in country.
“Power is one of the things that can spur economic development, and get our economy working again. This has gone to show how our politicians consider Nigeria. Like I have always said, most of our leaders do not have passion for this country.
“In Nigeria, there is no adequate power supply, but we are considering to supply power to neighbouring country. Recently, it was announced that this same Government wants to connect a railway to Niger Republic, whereas major cities in the country are not yet connected by rail.
“Simple economics would have taught us that one can only sell when you have sufficient, not when you don’t have. Businesses are dying, yet our government could be so wicked to even contemplate of sending power to Chad.
“It’s a misplaced priority for our leaders. It is uncalled for and not necessary at this time. The power supply to the populace across the country has been abysmally poor, and it shows that our leaders do not have this country at heart.”
For the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies, SSAEC, the union demands clarification from the Federal Government concerning the planned connection of Chad to Nigeria’s national grid.
SSAEC General Secretary, South South, Innocent LordDouglas, said the Federal Government should clarify the development, especially since Nigerians do not have sufficient power supply.
“We await clarifications on this, from the government because we are aware we don’t have enough in the country. We need to know why it is being considered at all, given our present state.
“Is it like a joint resource like dammed water being used by Nigeria? We wait to know this about this developing story.”
For a University Don and Professor of Energy Economics, Prof. Wumi Iledare, it is just a consideration, since the Federal Government does not have the power to sell electricity.
“It is a consideration. Does the Federal Government has power to sell? Do they generate electricity? I don’t understand the logic. It does not make sense to me.
“It is not like selling oil because government has oil to sell. But electricity is a different matter, unless there is a strategic understanding that we don’t know about that is of a national security concern.”