Buhari in dilemma over power privatization; Says epileptic supply, no longer laughing matter.
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his administration is facing what he described as “the classic dilemma” over the privatization of the power sector as the sector is yet to show any improvement in the quality of service.
He said it was difficult to determine whether it was done in public interest or with profit motive noting however that since the privatization of the sector had started, the process had to be completed.
Speaking at the commencement of a two-day National Economic Council (NEC) retreat titled: “Nigerian State: Multi-Centers of Prosperity”, he said the epileptic power situation in the country was no longer a laughing matter.
His word, “Key points to look at here are: Privatization. We are facing the classic dilemma of privatization: Public interest vs. Profit Motive. Having started, we must complete the process”.
He disclosed that his administration had, given itself the target of 10,000 megawatts “distributable power”, adding that in 2016 alone, the government intended to add 2,000 megawatts to the national grid.
“Nigerians’ favourite talking point and butt of jokes is the power situation in our country. But, ladies and gentlemen, it is no longer a laughing matter. We must and by the grace of God we will put things right”, he assured.
He said: “Common public complaints are “Constant power cuts destroying economic activity and affecting quality of life; high electricity bills despite power cuts; low supply of gas to power plants due to vandalism by terrorists.
Others are “obsolete power distribution equipment such as transformers; power fluctuations which damage manufacturing equipment and household appliances; and low voltage which cannot run industrial machinery.
“These are some of the problems which defied successive governments. In our determination to CHANGE, we must and will, insha Allah, put a stop to power shortages”.
He noted that while the National Electricity Regulatory Commission has a vital job to ensure consumers get value for money and over-all public interest is safe-guarded; government has to fast-track completion of pipelines from gas points to power stations and provide more security to protect gas and oil pipelines.
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