THE Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and Energy Consumer Rights and Responsibilities Initiative (ECRRI) on Thursday, backed ongoing probe of the power sector by the House of Representatives.
The groups in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, said there was an urgent need to review the power sector privatisation process because it had failed to yield the desired results.
NAN reports that the House of Representatives on May 12, mandated its Committees on Power and Privatisation, to review the extant laws, regulations, policies and contractual arrangement guiding the Power Sector Reform.
It also directed the committees to review and investigate activities of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) and submit the report within four weeks.
Mr Adetokunbo Mumuni, Executive Director, SERAP, a human rights group, said that Nigerians had not enjoyed quality supply of electricity in spite of the huge funds deployed to the sector by the government.
Mumuni said: “When our power sector is epileptic, the road to industrialisation for us is still far away.
“It is when we get things properly settled in the power sector that Nigerians can start talking about genuine industrial and economic progress.’’
He noted that it was not sufficient to probe the power sector but the outcome of such investigations and recommendations must be implemented in the interest of the country.
“The lawmakers must embark on the probe sincerely to get to the root of what is holding the power sector down for us to find a lasting solution to the problem,” Mumuni added.
Mr Sural Fadairo, National President, ECCRI, an electricity consumers group, said the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) should be strengthened to carry out its responsibilities.
Fadairo said: “The review by the lawmakers is a welcome development because we need to get our electricity sector right.
“NERC needs to be strengthened to do its job because the electricity distribution companies have been flouting its directives without being sanctioned appropriately.
“For instance, NERC gave a clear directive that customer complaints should be addressed by the electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) within 15 days but they hardly adhere to the directive.”
According to him, there is need to look at the operational capacities of the 11 existing DisCos and how other investors can come into the sector to help boost power supply in the country.
– May 14, 2020 @ 13:25 GMT |