• Govt plans staggered sale of 10 NIPP plants
The Joint Senate Committee on Power, Employment, Labour and Productivity Tuesday lamented the deplorable state of power supply in the country and told the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, to live up to his responsibility.
The committee’s rebuke of Fashola coincided with THISDAY’s findings yesterday that the federal, state and local governments, owners of the 10 NIPP plants, have decided to stagger their sale to private entities.
Lamenting the state of power supply in the country, the Senate committee accused Fashola of defending what it perceived as an unjustifiable increase in electricity tariff, lashing him for unnecessarily defending, pampering and protecting the power firms.
The committee expressed its anger at a public hearing it organised on the hike in electricity tariff in the country. Fashola was accompanied to the hearing by the acting Chairman, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Anthony Akah.
The minister, who had argued that adequate consultations were carried out among stakeholders in the power sector before the new tariff was fixed, asked those expecting the federal government to reverse the 45 per cent increase in electricity tariff to perish the thought.
According to him, doing so would be counter-productive.
He said it was too early to judge the effectiveness of the privatisation of the nation’s power sector, which was done only in 2013 by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
He asked the Senate to study the report of the House of Representatives, which he said had earlier carried out a similar public hearing, noting that the report would give the Senate a comprehensive knowledge of events, which led to the hike in electricity tariff.