A former Chairman of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Sam Amadi, has called for a critical review of the country’s power sector with a view to ensuring stable electricity supply.
Amadi, who spoke with SaharaReporters on Tuesday, expressed doubt on the financial capability of the government to pay off investors in the electricity distribution sector considering the economic situation of the country especially the difficulties created by the Coronavirus outbreak.
Amadi stated that there was the need to review the policy and regulatory interventions in the sector with a view to defining a new direction for the power sector.
He said, “We need to focus on first carrying out proper review of the entire power sector reform since 2000.
"First establish a parliamentary commission to conduct a policy and regulatory review and then build legislative intervention on the findings from experts based on rigorous assessment.
"The issue is not whether they can find the money to pay off the discos owners. The main issue is whether it’s a profitable venture to scramble privatisation in this manner.
“So, even though I doubt if we can find the money to fund such a takeover at this time of severe financial crisis, I believe that such a takeover is not and should not be the priority now.”
SaharaReporters gathered that the government may be at a crossroad either to cancel the licences of the current holders of the power firms or revisit the entire privatisation process.
Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman, had recently said the Federal Government was considering dumping the power distribution companies over epileptic power supply, blaming the current scenario on their inability to distribute electricity.
He said the government cannot continue to subsidise the DisCos after it had spent as much as N1.74trn to help the distribution sector.