Former Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir Ahmad El – Rufai, says N1.6tr incurred by Nigeria as subsidy on electricity is unsustainable and unacceptable .
El – rufa’i who was prevented from responding to alleged petition against his nomination as Minister stated this in Abuja before the Senate during the ministerial screening exercise.
” When the Distribution segment of the electricity supply chain was privatised in 2013 by the federal government, the plan was to give the private sector 60% and government 40%, but due to financial incapacity of some of the 11 Distribution Companies ( DISCOs), government have to be subsidising it which has shown by available records is N1.6trillion now”, he said.
He told the Senate that for the vision of President Bola Tinubu on stable electricity supply in Nigeria within the next seven years to be achievable, all the problems bedeviling the three segments of electricity supply chain, must be addressed.
According to him, for the generation segment, the problem of inadequate gas supply must be tackled since gas plant constitutes 80% of power generation while hydro constitutes just 20%.
He however added that even if the problem bedeviling the power generation segment is tackled to the point of generating 13,000 megawatts of electricity today, without improvement on the transmission segment, it would amount to nothing.
“Our power transmission infrastructure is obsolete and needs to be upgraded as it is today, it does have capacity to transmit generated electricity megawatts beyond 5,000 to 6,000.
“The president’s vision is that within 7 years, we’ll not have power outages in this country.
“The president is saddened by the fact that countries like Benin Republic, Niger, Cameroon, our neighbours have reliable electricity yet with all our resources and capabilities, and the quality of people we have as a nation, we are unable to provide electricity to our households and businesses”, he said .
Attempt made by El- Rufai to respond to alleged petition against him as mentioned by Senator Sunday Karimi ( APC Kogi West ) was blocked by Senate with no ! no ! shouts from Senators .
Senator Karimi had during questions and answers told El- Rufa’i that he had a petition against him bordering on security and National unity.
But the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio after stopping El- Rufa’i from responding, said such petition would not be entertained.
“Aside El – Rufai, there are petitions forwarded to the Senate against some other nominees, which is supposed to be directed elsewhere.
“What we are doing for the nominees is screening and not petition examination against them”, he said.
Other nominees like, Mr Wale Edun from Ogun State, Ahmed Musa Dangiwa from Katsina State, Adebayo Adelabu from Oyo State and Chief Uche Nnaji from Enugu State were also grilled during the screening exercise .
But Senator David Umahi from Ebonyi State, Ekperikpe Ekpo from Akwa Ibom, Stella Okotete from Delta and Hannatu Musawa from Katsina State were told to take a bow and go.
Meanwhile, the Senate has fixed Wednesday, August 2, 2023 for screening of the Publisher of the Blueprint Newspapers , Alhaji Mohammed Idris from Niger State, Mr Dele Alake from Ekiti State, Professor Ali Pate from Bauchi State, Dr Doris Uzoka from Imo State and Mr Lateef Fagbemi ( SAN) from Kwara State.
James Itodo, Edited By Grace Namiji
Written by: Elizabeth David
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