Sale of PHCN, Welcome Party for DarknessArticles/Opinion Monday, January 6th, 2014
By Luqman Soliu
The greatest joy of the capitalists is for the downtrodden people to accept all policies without critical analysis and or outright rejection of atrocious and extricating policies of the oppressive capitalists who have gained power and strive to perpetuate the wickedness on the poor masses. When privatisation of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) was proposed by the federal government, theorists and economicists went on air to defend the bad policy justifying it with flimsy theories; the commonest of which was the comparison of privatisation of telecommunication which brought the needed succour to the majority of hitherto deprived populace without access to telephones with bedevilled power sector privatization. In fact, most of the literates turned to economic nuisance with their awkward analysis of economic impacts of privatization of power sector in Nigeria.
In reality, how can a well-informed economic analyst compare telecommunication sector privatization that opened the sector to competition among companies with power sector dubious privatization sold to a single investor per zone? How can such a retrogressive arrangement and clandestine distribution of national heritage to the selected few cabals brings about competition? The whole of Ibadan zone was sold to just a single investor ditto to Ikeja and Apapa zones as well as other zones. Can such a monopolistic acquisition engender any virile and effective service delivery? No wonder, Since Jonathan led federal government of Nigeria sold power distribution to private sectors, light has become a scarce commodity but with increased charges which they even plan to increase in January 2014.
In my area where I reside in Abeokuta, out of twenty four hours power is now available in most cases for just an hour or about 2 hours per day and is usually when most people would have gone out. The rate at which the distribution company even charged for unused power is alarming, pathetic and oppressive in addition to indiscriminate disconnection of power to houses where residents dare to challenge them. Meanwhile, I even learnt in an unconfirmed report that the company invites security agents to attack anyone that dare the power distribution company staff misdemeanour.
I even read in national dailies on December 16,2013 that some people of Nembe community in Bayelsa state protested power outage in their community. Similarly, a friend in Magumeri posted on January 3,2014 on facebook that power was restored in Magumeri, Borno state after more than thirty (30) days of blackout in a town that was hitherto an epitome of stable power in Nigeria as the town witnessed lack of power for just two nights while I was serving there in 2009/ 2010. But thank the President for preferring darkness to light by engaging in poor management of power supply and commercialization privatization of power sector
The worst part of the exploitation is the suggestion that any staff member that believes people should not pay for unavailable power should resign or that any customer that is dissatisfied with the power outage should be disconnected from national grade. This heinous practice by power Distribution Company is an invitation to an open confrontation with the people. If people are extorted for services they do not enjoy and their assets( the wire, poles and metres they paid for before its acquisition) are confiscated, how then does power privatization brings joy, relieve, progress and development to the economy? Since the completion of the sale of Power Holding Company of Nigeria in November, 2013 the experience with power situation has been inexplicable courtesy of the poor government policies and selfish interests of the political office holders who often encourage the masses to be patriotic by supporting them while they remain treacherous in their disposition to government affairs.
By SOLIU, LUQMAN M.(MR)B.SC(HONS),GMNIM,CAIAR.
ABEOKUTA, OGUN STATE, NIGERIA.
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