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Drama As Electricity  Outage  Disrupts Power Probe In Senate

*As Investors Cry  Over Monthly N20bn Losses

Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja – For eight different times, intermittent power failure disrupted the investigative hearing session on power sector at the senate yesterday leading to the usage of recharge lamp and camera lights to power the session.

The session which was the last day of interactive session the Senate Ad- Hoc Committee members had with  stakeholders of the power sector started at about 11:30am and ended abruptly at 4:00 pm due  to 10-15mins power failure at intervals for eight different times from 2:00pm when the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, Godknows Igali was making a submission on behalf of the various electricity companies.

Aside, the Perm sec, other critical stakeholders of the sector caught in the power outage disappointment while making presentations , were the Director- General of Bureau of Public Enterprises ( BPE), Benjamin Ezreal Dikki, the Chairman of National Electricity Regulatory Commission ( NERC), Sam Amadi and some of the Managing Directors of electricity Distribution Companies( DISCOs).Even the Chairman of the Committee, Abubakar Kyari ( APC Borno North), was not spared, as he was also interrupted by one , out of the series of power outages while commenting on issues raised by some of the stakeholders.

Worried by the ugly development, Kyari after the session told journalists that the committee , would investigate what led to the power outages during the session .

“The power outages experienced here today further underscores the relevance of this committee at this critical time but we shall investigate whether they are deliberate or not”.

He added that the public hearing proper on the sector  will hold in due course.

Earlier, investors in the sector in their various submissions lamented that they are running it at great loses on monthly basis due to myriad of factors.

The Managing Director of Enugu Distribution Company , Mr Robert Dickerman who spoke on behalf of all the Distribution Companies ( DENKOs)  said the entire industry is being run by them at a deficit of N20bn per month.

This according to him, were due to over 50 % of electricity consumers not metered and about 30% , not even on the billing system of the service providers.

He also alleged that even the N100 billion subsidy injection into the sector , promised by the federal government was not fulfilled.

A submission corroborated by the CEO Ibadan Electricity Generating Company, Adeoye Fagbembi on behalf of the  six GENCOs who said transmission losses between them and the electricity distributors , have been a big issue , even as the N100 bn subsidy earlier promised by government to bridge the loss gaps, is yet to be fulfilled.

But the BPE Director- General, Benjamin Dikki, in his submission, said the Central Bank of Nigeria , has paid N5bn of the N100bn promised by the government.

He however admitted that the sector is presently being run at a loss by the investors.He explained that the losses at initial  stages, were envisaged as embedded in the performance agreement reached with the investors.

In his own presentation, the Chairman of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission ( NERC), Sam Amadi refuted allegations that the Transmission Company of Nigeria ( TCN),will soon be privatized by the federal government.

According to him, government has no such plans because of the sensitivity of that particular component of the sector.


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