Home Labour Why power sector reforms are unrealizable—.NUEE

Why power sector reforms are unrealizable—.NUEE

National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has blamed the poor results of the nation’s power sector reforms on insincerity on the part of government. It also blamed new owners of privatized power companies for poor power supply.
The General Secretary of the union, and who also doubles as the Deputy President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Comrade Joe Ajaero , stated this during a media chat with in Lagos stressing that profit motive had been a key factor militating against the performance of the private power sector.
He said: “Because the private owners are interested and thinking about maximizing profit, they needed to reduce workforce and increase electricity tariff.
“Unfortunately, the end result is constant decreasing of power supply. A year before the privatization, we met with President Goodluck Jonathan and gave analysis that power transmission and infrastructure should be improved upon by the state, else, if the private sector should be mandated to do it, they would have to borrow money from the banks at an interest rate that will be a burden on the consumers.
“However, if the government were sincere about this privatization, it should have massively mobilized for the availability of prepaid meters, thereby enabling a proper billing to which also I am sure that distribution companies would not want to absolutely subscribe to because they will not be able to realize their desired objective of maximizing profit”, even as he stressed the need for prepaid metering to address the issue of estimated billings.
Ajaero also lamented what he descried as the country’s power poverty, which stands presently at less than 4,000mw, arguing that the country needs about 160,000mw to achieve steady supply of electricity.
Stressing that world standard of electricity supply gives 1,000 mw of electricity to one million people, Ajaero observed that a country of more than 160 million people should have about 160, 000 mw of electricity.
“Already, there is power poverty in the country, because the world acclaimed standard is that wherever we have 1 million people, there must be 1000mw.
“If we have 160, million Nigerians and we are battling with 4,000mw, it is power poverty. Privatization in the power sector has never succeeded anywhere in the world. The state funds the power sector; we can only begin to think of who manages it after making it viable.
“The money to build power stations and the transmission network is provided by the state because private sector does not have the resources required,’’ he said.
Lamenting the dearth of prepaid meters, Ajaero, said: “the power situation does not improve by just saying, `let there be light,’ it comes with finance and commitment. If the people do not have electricity and you are charging them high, there is bound to be protests.”

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