FG moves to get foreign investors, faults DisCos for power challenges

FG moves to get foreign investors, faults DisCos for power challenges

- The federal government is courting foreign investors in Nigeria's moribund power sector

- A memorandum of understanding has already been signed with a German firm, Siemens

- A recent investigation shows that Nigerian manufacturers spend over N246billion annually fuelling generators in 2018

The federal government has advised electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) to allow other investors into the power sector if they cannot perform their responsibilities.

This was the position of the minister of power, Engineer Sale Mamman while addressing journalists on Wednesday, February 19 after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the State House, Abuja.

Mamman who has never hidden his disdain for the DisCos, said the current arrangement with the distribution companies is not sustainable.

FG moves to get foreign investors, faults DisCos for power challenges
Minister Mamman's relationship with DisCos has gone sour in recent times. Photo: Min. of Power
Source: Twitter

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When asked to explain what would happen to the several financial interventions the government had made in the power sector, the minister said, “Government cannot continue to subsidize because what they are doing is that they collect 3,000 megawatts and pay for only 1,000 megawatts; that is 15% of what they are collecting. So, the government is the one completing the payment.”

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He continued: “We cannot continue like that. So, if they are ready to continue, fine, but if they are not ready to continue, maybe, they should give way to whoever that is ready to come and invest.”

The minister revealed that the federal government has signed a memorandum of understanding with the German firm, Siemens.

He said: “They are to align with distribution, transmission and generation companies so that at the end of the day if we generate 13,000 megawatts, the transmission will take the whole 13,000 and will distribute same; that way, Nigerians will be happy and everyone will have 24/7 electricity supply.”

Mamman's appointment as minister in 2019 has further divided an already vulnerable sector begging for responsible leadership.

The minister seems to have an obsession with repossessing the electricity firms in clear breach of existing contracts.

In the midst of the back and forth between the minister and various stakeholders in Nigeria's power sector, the country continues to grapple with electricity challenges.

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A recent investigation by Nairametrics shows that manufacturers spent over N246billion fuelling generators in 2018.

Two months ago, the federal government introduced a new electricity distribution policy called "willing seller, willing buyer.''

Under the new policy, electricity would be wheeled directly from power generation companies to willing consumers who are ready to fully settle their bills.

The willing consumers may include community and commercial clusters, industrial areas and hospitality sectors.

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