Allowing private hands into FG power sector is a very big mistake – NUEE

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By Gladys Nweke

Electricity workers in the country, under the aegis of the Nigerian Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) have expressed their dissatisfaction on Federal Government’s privatisation of the nation’s power sector, describing it as a big mistake.

 They urged the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency begin the process of reviewing and evaluating the performance of power distribution companies or Discos in the country.

NUEE, which explained that the government was supposed to review the performance of Discos in November 2018, argued that when the power sector was privatised in 2013, the law was that the performance of the private investors will be reviewed after five years, to pave the way for improvement.

The Organising Secretary in Rivers State, Mr. Innocent LordDouglas, said allowing private hands into the nation’s power sector was a big mistake, adding that the private firms have failed woefully in every ramification, and were only out to make excessive gains.

LordDouglas made this declaration while speaking to journalists  in Port Harcourt, explained that the private firms were only out to make profits. He added that the country’s power sector would have improved significantly if it were still being managed by the government.

According to him, before the power sector was privatised, the union already said that privatisation will not work because when you take the utility of a state and put it into private hands that are out to make profit, they will do nothing other than make money.

The Discos buy a little energy and then ration it round the whole populace because they want to make money, because they are businessmen.

And then, the law says that these people will be reviewed after five years, but unfortunately as at November 2018, their licences were not reviewed, they were given one more year grace. Although the government hasn’t told Nigerians the reason, the Discos have not been reviewed. Why did government refuse to evaluate their performance after five years?

Electricity being in the hands of government would have been much improved by now, because government will not go about trying to make excessive profit like what the private firms are currently doing. The private firms have failed, power situation has degenerated from what it used to be, when it was ran by the government.

NUEE called on the Federal Government to make plans towards reviewing the power sector privatisation, with a view towards recovering the sector from the private firms.

He said: “Even the prepaid meters have so much been manipulated by the Discos, such that it runs like wildfire. So do you trust the private firms? We believed that if the government can have the political will to recover it, it will be better for the people of Nigeria.”

Observers however said this was how workers forced the FG to revoke the refinery licenses for privatization of the Warri and Kaduna Refineries promising to see to its operational efficiency. When the FG did that, the refineries became worse.

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