Nigeria’s electricity workers under the auspices of the National Union of Electrity Employees (NUEE) told Nigerians to dismiss claims in government circles that power output will improve by 2015.
The union who made this clear yesterday in Kaduna at the opening ceremony of a Two-Day Workshop on Electricity Sector Reform in Nigerian organised for NUEE by the Fredrik Egbert Foundation, said that all the purported power plants under construction were mere “political” power stations that cannot improve power output.
The General Secretary of NUEE, Comrade Joe Ajearo who spoke at the occasion, said that there was no way power supply could improve in the country “when some prominent Nigerians in the corridors of power have already been allocated some of the unbundled companies under the Power Holding Companies of Nigeria (PHCN), and the same people have gone round to say that Nigerians cannot manage the same companies.”
Comrade Joe Ajearo who spoke on proposed sale of PHCN said “check all the companies in this country that have been privatised, from the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ASLSON), in Ikot-Epkene to
Ajaokuta Steel Company, to Bacita Sugar Company to NICON Hilton and others were all bought by Nigerians.
Ajearo said, “I can’t tell you what megawatt of electricity we are going to generate by 2015. But I am not aware of any new power station that is going to be available by 2015. The gestation period for a power station is between 3 and 4 years.
“If there is none now that government is constructing, why should anyone expect improved power supply by 2015? It is only when you start today that you would know that a power plant would be ready in, say, 4 years. It is not a question of ‘let there be light’. You must work for it. You must also plan for it. If you generate 5,000Mw today, by next year the demand would go high, that means that the supply will drop.
The best way solve this is to increase supply and added more megawatts each year until the supply stabilises. But we have not been doing that, and we are not doing that now. The problem we have now is that supply is constant while the demand is increasing,” he added.