National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, has decried the worsening electricity supply across the country eight years after the privatisation of the assets of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN.
President of NUEE, Engr. Martin Uzoegwu, in Lagos, contended that the only workable and practicable option for resolving the challenges facing the power sector was “a total reversal of the whole privatisation exercise because it is not working and cannot work.”
According to him: “We reiterate like we have done in the last 13 years that the solution
to the power challenge in the Electric Power Reform process is total commercialisation of the sector.
“This option will give the companies the opportunity to charge economic tariffs with human face considering the purchasing power of the citizens and the regulatory directives.
“It will help to solve the twin problems of funding and investments in the whole value
chain of the power sector. Power is not only a business but also a social service and
one of the commanding heights of the economy.
“If we resolve the power debacle, Nigeria will solve a lot of socio-economic problems
with one stone.
“These may include but not limited to reduction in unemployment, reduction in the rate of organised crimes and other social vices, creation of small and medium enterprises in the rural and semi-urban areas, reduction in the cost of energy for manufacturing firms thus reducing the cost of goods and services and increase in turnover which could lead to more direct and indirect employment, reduction in rural-urban migration, rapid development of
our industrial capacity and increased life expectancy as a result of less stress, better
health management etc.
“It will also lead to more revenue for government as access to electricity will increase income from tariffs, rapid development of the country in the area of industrialisation,
foreign direct investment, FDI, more worker-friendly environment with good pay
and welfare packages and reduction or elimination of power poverty”.
According to him, “in Nigeria the power sector, long neglected by successive governments was primed for privatisation. This feat was achieved in 2013 when the PHCN was
unbundled to 11 Distribution and six Generation companies, and sold to different private companies while one Transmission Company is still owned by the FG”.