•Calls for new roadmap
For the power sector to achieve appreciable progress, the national electricity grid system must be decentralized.
The solution to the country’s frequent grid system collapse was given by the Chairman Momas Electricity Meter Manufacturing Company (MEMMCOL), Mr. Kola Balogun at an interactive session with the media.
Balogun while advising the new power minister, Mr. Abubakar Aliyu, on the path to reposition the sector also called for a new roadmap to address the lingering challenges in power generation, distribution and transmission.
“Why do we continue to have a single grid that binds all of us together? We need to separate it in such a way that any state or local government can go into power generation and distribution for consumers within a franchise area should be able to do so.
If the power being generated is not enough, they can even buy from the national grid. So, power generation and distribution should be removed from the Exclusive List and moved to the Concurrent List.
That is why we are advocating for franchising, so that Nigerians will enjoy more supply. The entire pro- cess should be done in a way that investors are able to get back their funds while their customers will get fair bill- ing in line with global best practices.”
He added that after seven years of privatisation with- out achieving the desired results, there was the need for a roadmap that would clearly define the goals of the power sector.
According to him, the minister should engage in consultation with the stake- holders in order to come up with a comprehensive road-map that will transform the sector.
Balogun noted that more investment was needed in the sector to upgrade feeders, transformers and substations across the country.
“If you are given an area to manage and you are bringing your investment, you need to recoup your investment and make profit on your investment.
The financial services sector should bear in mind that the power sector requires long term investments and loans should be considered in that direction.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) needs to reorientate the commercial banks on the peculiarities of the power sector in order for them to know how to deal with loan requests emanating from them.
Balogun also called for an effective regulation of the sector, stressing that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission ( NERC) needs to be strengthened to carry out its statutory responsibilities.