Saraki tasks Senate committee on steady power supply

Posted by News Express | 29 August 2015 | 2,673 times

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A Senate committee saddled with the responsibility of tackling issues related to power in Nigeria has been asked to urgently work towards the resolution of all challenges currently facing the sector.

After inaugurating the committee on Friday, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki said the economic woes in Nigeria could only be addressed when “the power sector is fully made functional.”

In a statement by his media office, Senator Saraki stressed that the immediate concern of the 8th Senate was to use every legislative instrument at its disposal to ensure that “light replaces the darkness” in Nigeria.

“You will recollect in my earlier address on the June 9 when I said that Nigerians will begin to see a proactive National Assembly that will devote itself to rigorous thinking, a National Assembly that will roll up its sleeves to forge a new and prosperous Nigeria.

“Our economy cannot be prosperous without us addressing the problems of the power sector. The power sector is a key driver of the economy. Whatever we do in trying to address the problems of the power sector is essential in trying to rebuilding economy. The power challenges that we have are real. They are serious and many.

“There is work to be done concerning our power and that is why you will recollect that we debated seriously on all the issues in the power sector and in response we made a resolution and agreed that an ad-hoc committee be quickly set up, to be charged with the responsibility of oversight and to tackle the issue of generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in Nigeria.

“Our concern is to see that we can use every legislative instrument at our disposal to ensure that light replaces the darkness we have.”

He further said the aim of the 8th Senate was to ensure that Nigerians would begin to enjoy uninterrupted power supply.

“I believe that the task before you is huge and it is to ensure that this sector must be productive, efficient, accountable and transparent.”

Earlier, the Chairman of the 14-member Committee, Senator Abubakar Kyari, assured the Senate president that the Committee would carry out its task objectively.

He said the nation’s entire power value chain required the review of extant policies to obtain optimum performance.

“It is in line with this objective, that the committee would be seeking explanations from the Management of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) on the terms of their management contract with the Federal Government as it relates to assets inherited, funds injected into the company so far and the achievements recorded.”

The committee chairman decried a practice where some distribution companies (Discos) reject power load allocations in order to reduce cost.

He further said that the metering system of Discos which places emphasis on estimated billing and imposition of fixed charges for services not rendered required urgent and fundamental review.

“There have been a lot of unwholesome practices by some of these companies. The committee has to get down to the root of these problems especially where provisions have been made in the past, through appropriation, prior to privatization and funds were not properly utilized. We must therefore find out what brought us to this sorry state.

“The committee is not out to witch-hunt any individual or organisation. We are on a fact finding mission and would pursue our mandate objectively.” (Channels TV)

•Photo shows Dr. Saraki


Source: News Express

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