Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Friday charged the Senate Ad hoc Committee on Power to urgently work towards the resolution of
all the challenges currently facing the power sector.
Saraki, who spoke while inaugurating the Committee headed by Senator Abubakar Kyari in Abuja, said the economic woes in the country can only be addressed when the power sector is fully made functional.
He said the immediate concern of the 8th Senate is to use every legislative instrument at its disposal to ensure that “light replaces the darkness” in the country.
Saraki said: “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 stated.
He further said the aim of the 8th Senate is to ensure that Nigerians enjoy uninterrupted power supply, saying, “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, Chairman of the 14-member Committee, Senator Kyari, assured the Senate President that the Committee would carry out its task objectively.
He said the nation’s entire power value chain requires the review of extant policies to obtain optimum performance.
Kyari said: “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.”
He 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 requires urgent and fundamental review.
He added: “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.”
He said the committee is not out to witch-hunt any individual or organization, saying, “We are on a fact finding mission and would pursue our mandate objectively.”
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