By David Ejiohuo
The federal government must unbundle power generation section of the power sector now to save the economy, the Nigerian Association of Chambers of commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), has demanded.
NACCIMA called it decentralization of the production and the distribution of electricity generation in the country, saying it is the only way to save the nation’s economy from the impending collapse.
Iyalode Alaba Lawson, the NACCIMA president, made the proposal at the weekend, when she spoke with the newsmen at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, on the state of the nation’s economy.
According to her, both the Federal Government and the National Assembly should as a matter of urgency, put a motion in process that would llow states, organizations, the organized private, public sector companies, and other corporations to be involved in electricity or energy generation and distribution to save the nation’s economy from collapsing again.
The Nigerian economy, she explained, was recovering at a very slow pace and therefore needed all that was required to let it come on stream for the interest of Nigerians.
According to her, one of the things needed to boost the nation’s economy was adequate electricity or energy generation across the country but that the failure of the Federal Government to do so was not helping matters.
One of the ways to make this possible she pointed out was for the Federal Government to abolish all obnoxious laws affecting the generation and distribution of electricity in the country and ensure that all executive orders on electricity issues were carried out without further delays.
She stated: “It is obnoxious to make the generation and distribution of electricity the exclusive right of the Federal Government, even when the mission is an impossible one”.
The National Assembly and the Federal Government she pleaded, should legislate and allow interested parties get involved in electricity generation to save the nation’s economy and bring succour to Nigerians which she said were passing through hell to get energy. They should remove the issue from the exclusive list to the concurrent one as a matter of urgency and in the interim, carry out all executive orders as concerning the electricity issues in the country”.
Iyalode Lawson waned that both the Federal Government and the National Assembly would be held responsible for failing the nation, if they failed to do what was obvious and necessary but watch the nation’s economy collapse once more.
Nigeria, the NACCIMA President emphasized, stands to gain much from it, apart from the fast recovery of the economy, but in the generation and distribution of the energy as it would yield lots of revenue to the Federal Government.
“The Federal Government should provide the infrastructure needed but allow those interested parties to be independent by not linking their produced power to the national grid but should be made to pay revenue to the Federal Government based on the amount of energy they produce”.
Also speaking on the issue, a Gubernatorial Aspirant, under the Green Party in Kano State, Abdulsalam Abdulkarim Zaura, said he totally agrees that the electricity generation and distribution should be removed from the exclusive list to the concurrent one.
According to Abdusalam Zaura, lack of electricity was slowly killing the nation, her economy and greatly affecting the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the nation and affecting the development of the nation as a whole.
He pointed out that over 300 industries in Kano State, were presently in comatose and all the workers laid off because of electricity problems.
Nigeria, he pointed out further, could be self-sufficient in the use of renewable energy or solar system or even the waste energy and that it would amount to sin for the nation to continue to depend on the old and inefficient method of generation of power.
“The world is advancing and we cannot continue on the old way of generating power, even in the presence of abundant sunlight for solar energy or waste energy plant”.
To him, there was much to it because of the inability of the Federal Government to source for an alternative power supply despite so much money spent on the same system and the lack of positively results.
“For me, I suspect foul play and corruption in the system because as at today, Nigeria is the highest importer and user of generators in the world and, am sure that some people are benefiting from this”.
Generators, he explained, were now used in other parts of the world in construction sites and not in homes. He promised to use the population of Kano State and the renewable energy system to transform the State and her people, if elected as the Governor.
The federal government has since rolled out policy to allow imbedded power system which allows others to generate power and sell through power purchase agreement but Discos usually sue the supplier for interfering with their markets, even if they were not covering such a market well. This seems to be the area of conflict.