Journalism of Courage

Nigeria’s Power Sector Privatisation has failed, to be revisited, says Senate President


The 10-year-old privatisation of the nation’s power sector is a colossal failure and should be revisited, so says Senate President Ahmad Lawan on Thursday.

“I think the privatisation has not worked; it has failed because the essence of privatisation is to create efficiency,” he told the executive committee of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria ((MAN) during  a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja.
MAN had complained of the adverse effects of electricity supply interruptions across the country.

He said: “It appears most of the companies, the DISCOs (Distribution Companies), have no sufficient capital and probably the same thing with the GENCOs (Generation Companies).

“I think the time has come for government to take a very drastic but necessary decision.
“If we have privatised the DISCOs and the GENCOs, I think, the private sector, those who have taken them over, should be able to make them work better than they were before.

“If they cannot, I  think we need to revisit this privatisation because we cannot go on like that. We should look at the larger interest of Nigerians not of those companies that have taken over the power sector – the DISCOs and the GENCOs.

“We are going to support the executive arm of government… We will suggest that going forward we have to revisit the privatisation because apparently the companies are not able to provide the power that we thought they could by now.”

The Senate President lauded the efforts of the government which, out of  desperation to create a better situation for the privatised sector, gave out so much money to the companies.
Noting that the issue of power has remained one of the major challenges of the nation’s economy, Lawan said: “There is no way we can make any serious progress without adequate and steady power supply.”

On the complaints by MAN on the delay associated with clearing goods at the nation’s seaports, the Senate President expressed his confidence that the federal government  committee on Ease of Doing Business chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo would address the issue.

The committee has since its inception done a lot to normalize and restore efficiency at the ports, he said.

He promised the National Assembly’s readiness to partner with MAN for the growth and development of the nation’s economy.

“Feel free to always come to us when there is need for legislative intervention.”

The President of MAN, Engr. Mansur Ahmed, had earlier listed insecurity, delebitating power supply and delay in clearing goods as major challenges facing manufacturing sector.

He noted that the challenges had resulted in lack of competitiveness by the nation’s manufacturers.

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