Nationwide blackout: Speaker queries N2.7trn spent on power

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From Kemi Yesufu and Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja 

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has described as highly unsatisfactory, the performance of the power sector despite the N2.74 trillion invested between 1999 and 2015.

Speaking at a two-day stakeholders interactive workshop on the Nigerian Power Sector organised by the National Assembly, Dogara argued that rather than a marked improvement, the sector’s performance has worsened with more fund injection. 

He therefore called for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to address the many challenges of the sector.

“Perhaps the most important question is to ask what happened to the N2.74 trillion spent on the sector from 1999-2015? Why is it that the more we spend on the power sector, the more darkness we attract?” he queried.

The Speaker further explained that  the National Assembly organised the workshop as a platform for power sector experts and other stakeholders to conduct a holistic diagnosis of the challenges impeding the development of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) and offer practical solutions. He added that the National Assembly expects ideas and solutions from the summit on the epileptic power, which has negatively affected different facets of life.  

Dogara who wondered  why power generation remained at less than 5000MW since the last 56 years, also stressed that real answers must be searched out on why various policies by successive governments failed. 

These challenges run across the entire power value chain of generation, transmission and distribution. The myriad of challenges are apparently exacerbated by inadequate funding, poor energy mix, fuel supply issues, flawed regulatory framework and commercial issues, among others.

There is therefore a need for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to address these myriad problems,” he stated.

“The diagnosis include but not limited to a critical analysis of the extant legislations and regulatory framework guiding the Nigerian power sector to determine if there is a need for amendments or enactment of new laws that will galvanise the sector to deliver the required results,” he added.

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