The House of Representatives and the Bureau of Public Enterprises have differed on the performance of generation and distribution companies after the privatisation of the power sector by the Federal Government.
While the BPE said the privatisation and unbundling of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, formerly the National Electric Power Authority, had yielded results, the House disagreed, stating that Nigerians had yet to experience a significant improvement.
The House had set up an Ad Hoc Committee on Investigation and Review of the Activities of the Nigerian Power Sector, which began a two-day investigative hearing on Wednesday.
The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila; and the Majority Leader and Chairman of the committee, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, had earlier on Wednesday decried the perennial crisis in Nigeria’s power sector.
At the hearing on Thursday, the Director-General of the Bureau for Public Enterprise, Mr Alex Okoh, said the power sector had recorded improvement since public power assets were sold to private investors.
Okoh also called for the unbundling of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, especially the separation of the Independent System Operators and the Transmission Service Providers.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission had proposed the creation of ISOs and TSPs from the current TCN.
Okoh said, “The first area that we believe that has experienced challenges so far is the transmission sub-sector. We believe that for the transmission service providers, there is the need for separation between the TSPs and the ISOs.
“Also, we see a situation where there is frequent partial and full system collapse, which suggests to us that the transmission network lacks adequate redundancy and this, in itself, creates instability. So, TCN and the transmission system remain a challenge.”
The PBE boss also identified challenges facing the sector to include non-cost reflective tariff and withdrawal of the transitional subsidy support.
The committee, however, faulted BPE’s claim of improvement in the sector.
Ado-Doguwa, “We want to get out of this mess. D-G, why is it that we had to pump about N701bn in 2017 into the system? Why did we have to inject N600bn in 2019 and 2020 into a system that is called a finality; a system that is called privatised, and in your own words you said it has been successful?”