7 February 2013

Nigeria: Power Sector Reform Faces Setback As FG Reviews Road Map

The on-going power sector reform may suffer yet another setback following the federal government review of the power road map with a view to bringing results into proper alignment with projections going forward.

The review kicked off in Abuja yesterday when the Presidential Task Force on Power (PTFP) met with agencies that have strong relationship with the power sector towards integrating their opinion of where the industry should be in the reviewed road map.

Chairman of the PTFP, Beks Dagogo-Jack, stressed that the review exercise was necessary stating that slip ups over the past year has left elements in the reform disconnected with the realities in the sector today.

He said: "Those of you familiar with the first review exercise would recognise that there are elements in it that today are not exactly reflective of the realities on ground.

"In the original road map we had projected some capacities to come in at certain time lines because we did not do everything that we should have done, we slipped on those timelines and we can't leave the road map in that same shape or version. We need to review it and bring out the version that Nigerians can rely on" he said.

He noted that there was a tendency for the projections to base demand on restricted parameters like Nigeria's demography, adding that, "if we just use our demographics to project demand the country could miss certain vital facts.

"You need to align the sector properly from gas to generation and to transmission. Each of this points produce a constraining agenda," he said.

While emphasising the importance of the review, he said it was an obligation to develop the renewed road map and leave it in the corridors of government for planning purposes, adding that it would be totally improper to conduct the research and develop the road map without stakeholder interaction.

Meanwhile, on the delay of government to hand over delegated authority to Manitoba Hydro, the Canadian firm contracted to manage the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Dagogo-Jack simply said management was discussion the issue. "It is largely a management issue, it is largely a government issue," he said.

Manitoba hydro which was contracted at a sum of $23 million is yet to commence work five months after the commencement of its contract. The Canadian firm was supposed to have commenced work on September 1, 2012. The CEO of Manitoba/TCN, Mr. Don Priestman, recently confirmed to LEADERSHIP that they were yet to be given a delegated authority to take over full control of TCN. Asked reasons for the delay, he said "I don't know, I have not been told anything officially or unofficially about it.

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