The National Assembly has been charged to exercise its oversight function by ensuring that the performance of private investors in the power sector conforms to the objectives and aims of the reform initiative, which is to ensure sustainable power supply within the shortest possible time.
The President of Good Governance Initiative, GGI, a nongovernmental organisation, Mr. Festus Mbisiogu, who gave the charge while speaking with journalists yesterday in Lagos, said it is imperative that the legislators’ keep watch over the sector if the nation is to make remarkable progress after the power sector reforms.
He said: “Government should endeavour to pursue the transformation agenda to the end by monitoring the emerging transition market in order to protect the interest of both the citizenry and the investors. If the basic motive of the privatization, which is to ensure that Nigerians enjoy affordable and steady power, is not achieved, then the purpose would be defeated.
“Whatever bottlenecks that will prevent the investors from performing optimally should be removed. I am happy that the government has commenced efforts to liquidate the salaries, allowances and terminal benefits of the staff of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN. This, no doubt, will pave way for the full takeover of the sector by the investors.
“But in all these, there is one important factor we must not gloss over. Nigerians must extract promise from the investors. Government must set the standard as well as a deadline for the investors. We want to know when they are going to give us regular and steady power supply. Government must ensure that the investors adhered to the deadline.”
Mbisiogu, who revealed that Nigerians spend over N800 billion annually to power their generating sets, added that it is not enough to take over the power plants, but the participation of the private investors should be aimed at making life better for Nigerians and impacting positively on the economy.
“There should be a remarkable difference in this exercise. So, we call on the National Assembly to exercise its oversight function by monitoring the performance of these investors to ensure that they are in conformity with the objectives and aims of our reform initiative, which is to give Nigerians sustainable power in the shortest possible time,” he said.
Information from National Mirror was used in this report.