The Nigerian Electricity Market has accumulated N3 trillion deficit in the last nine years after the power sector privatisation with a projection of N820 billion deficit for this year alone.
The Executive Director, Networks at the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), Engr Ifeoluwa Oyedele, stated this on Wednesday at the 5th International Power Engineering Exhibition and Conference (IPECON) in Abuja.
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He said: “Today, we are still a nation with the same 3,000 to 4,000 megawatts that we had 10 to 20 years ago. The privatised power sector has been running financial deficits since its inception. The forecast deficits this year are projected to reach over N820bn with cumulative deficits of over N3trn since 2014. These deficits have been passed up by the supply chain to the government to underwrite by way of CBN interventions to pay gas suppliers.”
Oyedele in his keynote address on separating politics from power sector operations said it was an irony that while the government has commercialised NNPC Limited and retained its assets, it is selling off Generation Companies (GenCos) owned by NDPHC, an already commercialised entity.
The National President, Nigerian Institute of Power Engineers (NIPE), Engr. Israel Abraham, urged the government to moderate the political interference in the power sector for Nigerians to have improved electricity supply.
Chairman of the central planning committee of IPECON, Prof. Steve Ogaji said Nigerians had hoped to avoid using candles and generators after the 2013 sector privatization.
“Contrary to these expectations, the electricity sector appears to be struggling. The sector has become highly politicised, leading to increased restiveness and apathy.”
The Vice Chancellor of Nile University and conference host, Prof. Dilli Dogo, said the power sector seems to have moved from a state of just crisis and if one is not careful, it could move to a state of collapse and chaos.
By Simon Echewofun Sunday & Linda Ifeachor