BY Taiwo Adebulu
Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, says the federal government spent N1.7 trillion on electricity in the last three years.
The governor said this in Abuja on Thursday after the national economic council (NEC) meeting presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
El-Rufai was appointed head of the ad-hoc committee that will review the ownership of the electricity distribution companies (DisCos) at the NEC meeting in November.
El-Rufai added that the country cannot make any progress until its electricity sector is fixed.
“The problems in electricity are many, capacity is one perhaps. There are some that have shown lack of capacity it is true but there are many that are fantastic, so it is very difficult to pass quick judgement,” el-Rufai said.
“There are other issues. The entire sector is broken, the tariff is an issue, the way the privatisation was done is an issue to many. So there are many many issues.
“What we have agreed on is that there are fundamental problems in the electronic supply industry, and that you cannot privatise an industry and then over three years since privatisation, you pump in N1.7 trillion of government into it. That is not privatisation.
“The federal government has supported the electricity sector with N1.7 trillion in the last three years and this is not sustainable. So, solutions must be found. Those solutions are not going to be nice. They may be painful, but the only way to solve the structural problems in the industry is to take some very difficult decisions.
“So, my appeal is that let’s not be quick to pass judgement. Right now we are listening to all the stakeholders, of course there is a lot of blame game.
“At the end of the day, we must have an honest conversation as Nigerians and know that unless we fix electricity, we cannot make progress. And this electricity is required not only in the cities but in every home, every rural area.”