Nigerian Power Giants Converged At Owerri To Resolve Crises

It was another bustle of activities and hot debates as major participants in the businesses of electricity generation, transmission, distribution and other allied functions converged at Owerri, Imo State Capital, yesterday, 9 October, 2017, to discuss and resolve the lingering challenges facing the country’s ailing power industry. This would be the 20th of such stakeholders meeting since Mr. Babatunde Fasola, the Honourable Minister for Power, Works and Housing initiated the platform on assumption of office. The last of such meeting was held last month in Lagos and hosted by Eko DISCO.
During such meetings, various issues and myriads of challenges confronting the industry are usually tabled for discussion with a view to getting quick attention and solutions around them, since the Minister who represents the Federal Executive Council chairs the meeting. Parts of the issues raised at the Owerri meeting which was hosted by Enugu DISCO concern improving power supply to several parts of the country such as Okitipupa, Ode-Aye and Ilaje Local Government area of Ondo state, Magboro in Ogun state, places that have been plagued with prolonged power outage for an upward of 3 years; improvement of distribution capacities to absorb a stranded 2000MW arising from incremental power generation; the raging issue of eligible customers and its consequences on the DISCOs business; current financial crisis across the sector, as well as issues of energy theft among others.
In spite of the good intention and expectations of this forum, opinion differs however on the extent of implementations of the recommendations and agreement reached during discussions. How well these meetings are contributing to the desired expectations of Nigerians in the areas of availability of power supply of good quality and at reasonable cost is yet to be seen. Speaking to our correspondent after the just concluded meeting at Owerri, a very senior official who pleaded anonymity disclosed that much of the agreements and promises usually remain pending for a long time, resulting in delays of expected outcomes. For example, none of the DISCOs has received the money earmarked as payments for the debts of MDAs, even several months after the payment was announced in the papers. Much of these delays from the authorities are not unconnected to the visible poor performance by the various companies. A source from the Ministry of Power however debunked this claim as blackmail by the DISCOs.
It is evident that so much is really still need to be done in many departments to get the country out of the power conundrum presently confronting the country. With several industries and SMEs resorting to self-generation, the cost of production and quality of living remain a nightmare for most Nigerians.

Posted by Leye Akinmodiro