President Mohammadu Buhari, on Monday finally woke up to the realities of what many Nigerians have been suffering for decades over the epileptic power supply in the country, saying that the situation was no longer a laughing matter.
Buhari made this known in the keynote address which he presented at the opening ceremony of a two day summit of the National Economic Council, NEC, in Abuja.
He said, “Nigerians’ favourite talking point and butt of jokes is the power situation in our country. But, ladies and gentlemen, it is no longer a laughing matter. We must and by the grace of God we will put things right. In the three years left for this administration we have given ourselves the target of ten thousand megawatts distributable power.
In 2016 alone, we intend to add two thousand megawatts to the national grid. This sector has been privatized but has yet to show any improvement in the quality of service. Common public complaints are: Constant power cuts destroying economic activity and affecting quality of life, High electricity bills despite power cuts, Low supply of gas to power plants due to vandalization by terrorists, Obsolete power distribution equipment such as transformers, Power fluctuations, which damage manufacturing equipment and household appliances, Low voltage which cannot run industrial machinery. These are some of the problems, which defied successive governments. In our determination to change we must and will, insha Allah, put a stop to power shortages. Key points to look at here are: Privatization. We are facing the classic dilemma of privatization: Public interest Vs Profit Motive. Having started, we must complete the process. But National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), the regulatory authority, has a vital job to ensure consumers get value for money and over-all public interest is safe-guarded”