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January 24, 20204min640

The National Economic Council (NEC) has completed plans to revoke and reverse the power sector privatization describing it as a “total failure”.

It said the 2014 exercise was a fiasco pointing out that there is the need for a reversal of the decision.

This was part of the recommendations by the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el- Rufai-led committee, inaugurated last year to ensure stable power supplies in the country.

This has already sent shock wave across the sector with insinuations that lobbying has commenced to thwart the revocation.

Some of the top sector players see the el-Rufai high level resolution as “targeted” and “vengeful”.

But briefing State House Correspondents after the monthly meeting of the Council, presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, el-Rufai lamented that “electricity supply in the country has broken down completely”.

He said the country would not experience development and industrialization without solving the problems of electricity supply.

The power sector was privatized in 2014 by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan despite that the Federal Government has continued to intervene with billions of naira annually without any improvement.

Daily Mail reports that recently the whole country was thrown into a total blackout due to a breakdown in the national grill. This has been a recurrent experience especially since the administration of Mohammadu Buhari.

“This is one of the recommendations we are putting forward, but we know that it has implications.

“The problems are many, the entire sector is broken, there is a fundamental structural problem.

“Government has supported the industry with N1.7trillion in the past three years. Government will take some very tough decisions. There is a lot of blame games.

“There are more than 900 million homes in Nigeria connected to electricity. Over 80million Nigerians are without electricity.

“It is either we continue to allow the federal government pump in N1.7trillion every three years, or we take the tough decision that will ensure a stable power supply”

He also announced that NEC will soon forward a proposal that would see the Federal Government release 20% of the over N10trillion accumulated pension funds for infrastructure development.

The proposal if approved, will see the money given as loans to the private sector for the development of three critical areas of roads, rail and power infrastructure

The money to be given on a long-term basis will attract between 5% and 6% interest over a period of 30 years and will be recovered through allocation of right of ways on the roads to be used the land to develop properties coupon rates of 5% to 6% is being targeted.

“We are looking for cheap and long term sources of funds for development of infrastructure,” he said.

Top industry sources told Daily Mail, should the Federal Government decided to proceed with the revocation, it would be met with deluge of court cases.

” The exercise was legally done and the process which spanned three governments was undertaken legally. We won’t sit by and watch the whole exercise go in smoke.

“We would slam any negative move with court cases. The government doesn’t need to play hard ball or we would play hard balls,” a top player said under condition of anonymity.

 

 

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