21 March 2016

Nigeria: Power Supply No Longer a Laughing Matter - Buhari

Photo: Herald Zimbabwe
(file photo).

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that epileptic power supply in the country is no longer a laughing matter.

He also disclosed that in the next three years, his administration have given themselves the target of ten thousand megawatts distributable power.

He stated this yesterday in his address at the National Economic Council retreat on the economy at the State House Conference Centre, Presidential Villa Abuja.

President Buhari lamented that the power sector has been privatised but has yet to show any improvement in the quality of service.

He also pointed out that his administration is facing the classic dilemma of privatization of the power holding companies.

He said; 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.

"In the three years left for this administration we have given ourselves the target of ten thousand megawatts distributable power. In 2016 alone, we intend to add two thousand megawatts to the national grid.

"This sector has been privatized but has yet to show any improvement in the quality of service. 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 vandalisation by terrorists.

Others are, obsolete power distribution equipment such as transformers, Power fluctuations, which damage manufacturing equipment and household appliances. Low voltage which cannot run industrial machinery.

He added that, "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.

"We are facing the classic dilemma of privatization: Public interest vs Profit Motive. Having started, we must complete the process. But National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), the regulatory authority, has a vital job to ensure consumers get value for money and over-all public interest is safe-guarded. Government to fast-track completion of pipe."

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