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2013 Review: Power Privatisation Is A Dream Come True

Channels Television  
Updated December 31, 2013

The reforms in the power sector in 2013 has been described as  a dream come true.

While reviewing the power sector performance in 2013, an Oil and Gas Lawyer, George Etomi, said that the sector had done well from the point of view of the reforms that are intended.

“The year saw the realisation of the dream to privatise the sector on November 1, a process that was the most transparent processes in the entire privatisation history not just in Nigeria but in West Africa,” he said.

He also looked at the issue of labour.

“Practically, all of them have gotten their severance payment.

“The issue of Labour in negotiations, like that of the handing over of the PHCN, is always expected because generally labour does not always trust the employer.

“The government introduced biometrics to ensure that payments were made to the right persons.

He pointed out that the greater concern should be what would be the fate of the same labour going forward.

“The new owner have retained some of the old workers and the culture is different and this could create issues of smooth linear of those relationships considering the fact that the way the new managers would want to handle the service is quite different.

The Nigerian government has said that there were possibilities of increased tariff as the new owners of the distribution companies take over.

This has become a source of worry for Nigerians.

Some have, however, expressed their readiness to pay if power is constant.

The government has blamed the poor supply on low gas supply caused by gas pipeline vandalism.

He appealed to Nigerians to desist from vandalising oil and gas pipelines in Nigeria.

“Protecting infrastructure is not only government’s responsibility but a collective one,” he said.

Mr Etomi called for the speedy passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill.

“If there is no foundational legislation, the investors will not come in to invest in the sector. That is why we have oil theft,” he said.