The Federal Government, on Tuesday, said it had spent about N7tn as direct interventions in the power sector despite privatising the electricity generation and distribution arms of the industry since November 2013.
It revealed this at a briefing in Abuja to announce the forthcoming Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry Market Participants and Stakeholders Roundtable.
The N7tn, it explained, did not include interventions from international donors.
This was disclosed by the Transmission Company of Nigeria.
It said the privatisation of the power sector was necessary because of the failure of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, but noted that the industry had not lived up to expectations.
The Market Operator of the Federal Government-owned Transmission Company of Nigeria, Dr Edmund Eje, said, “You and I were enthusiastic about privatisation; yes, the government has no business doing business and we saw that NEPA failed. We were all witnesses and so everybody was enthusiastic to have something different that would usher us into a new power paradise. But it never came.
“Now this conference is to evaluate. What are the issues? The Federal Government has spent about N7tn on interventions, direct interventions. I am not talking about monies from donors, but on direct interventions and we are also asking for more.”
He added, “Distribution companies have been making frantic efforts to ensure that they service their jurisdictions; what are the problems inhibiting them? The TCN has been executing lots of projects worth billions of naira and dollars. The generation companies are there, and almost every year you will add a new generator.”
Eje said the market had not been able to pay for up to 4,000 megawatts of electricity for more than two decades. According to him, these are some of the issues to be discussed at the conference.
He noted, “Since 2005, we have never invoiced anything more than 4,000MW. It is on record. So this conference is going to be no holds barred, and it is coming at the right time.”
He said that whoever would be appointed as minister of power would harvest a lot from the conference, to enable him to take off as minister.
He added, “This (the conference) is a general overview of the market. Why is it that after all these theories, we have not been able to have enough power for the Nigerian people? Why is it that the Federal Government is not relenting in intervening? These interventions cost a lot, but still, we have not been able to get it right.”
The Chairman, Organising Committee, NESI Market Participants and Stakeholders’ Roundtable, Prof Stephen Ogaji, described the conference as a sectoral deliberation vehicle to share information, as it would hold from the end of October to November 2023.