- Bola Kougbe
The United Labour Congress, ULC and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, have urged the Federal Government to review the privatization of the power sector due to the worsening power supply in the country. The groups contended that the poor performance of the power sector was as a result of ineffectiveness of government and the new owners. Comrade Joe Ajaero, ULC President, said the continued payment of crazy bills by Nigerians for epileptic power supply is an embarrassing situation to the economy. “Again, we use this opportunity to insist that the federal Government should revisit the Privatisation of the Power sector and should not allow all the noise from within its ranks to distract it unless it is not prepared to rescue the sector and the embarrassment it has become to Nigerians under its watch. That Nigerians are forced to pay for darkness in the guise of estimated bills should worry this Government; that we are still celebrating 3,000 to 4,000 MW after the promise of Privatisation of electricity is a tragedy. “We suggest that the Government invokes the necessary clause in the Privatisation act that allows it to reacquire the Companies in order to reverse the negative trend in the sector. Without a viable power sector, all the talk about diversification will remain a mirage; without electricity, SMEs are doomed and will not take-off and without adequate Power, we cannot hope to run a modern economy. It is time for the Government to live up to their promise on assumption of office to revisit the Privatisation of the Electricity companies”, he said. Comrade Bobboi Kaigama, TUC President, said the privatization of power sector has not helped to combat the poor power supply in the country. He said that the increment in electricity bills was an unjustifiable action. He added “severally the organized labour and anti-poverty groups have condemned and protested against the rises in monthly bills. It was uncalled for and unjustifiable because there has been no significant improvement in services delivery to warrant such increment. We applaud the Senate for supporting us on this very one”. While commending some power sector workers for their patience, Kaigama stressed that there was need for the new owners of the sector to make strategic investment in facilities. He said it was to ensure constant supplies of Gas to power plants.