The Chairman of the House Committee on Power, Patrick Ikhariale, has asked the Federal Government to work out a funding support plan for private sector operators in the energy industry to bridge the cash deficit gap and consolidate the privatisation process in the sector.
Mr Ikhariale, who met with key players in the power sector to find solutions to the challenges in power generation, transmission and distribution said that withdrawing funding completely after privatisation has made it difficult for the sector to stabilise fully.
However, the Minister for Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo, has said that plans were on to establish a Central Bank controlled fund but also explained that the shortfall in energy supply was reason why generation and distribution companies were having it tough in the privatization.
Following the hand-over of all PHCN facilities to investors in November 2013, the Federal Government had assured citizens that the privitisation process would result in improved power supply and stability.
A total of 2 billion dollars is expected to be contributed by development partners by 2018 for the development of Nigeria’s power sector.
The Country Representative of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, UNIDO, Dr. Patrick Kormawa, who announced the pledge in Abuja, said that the gesture is aimed at improving generation, distribution and transmission of electricity.
The UNIDO Country Representative said that the 2 billion dollars is expected to be given as grant to ensure efficient power supply in the country, as increased financial support for the sector was necessary.
Dr Kormawa also pledged continuous support for other sectors of the economy begging for urgent attention.
Major players in the power sector and members of civil society organisations converged on Abuja to brainstorm on how to maintain sustainable service delivery in the post privatisation era.
The Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo, explained that shortage of gas supply, vandalism and fragile transmission grids are some of the hiccups the Federal Government has to contend with, in spite of the financial commitment by development partners.
However, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Power, Patrick Ikhariale, warned against fraudulent practices by the investors to ensure that Nigerians enjoy services provided by the succeeding generation and distribution companies.