The National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has faulted the decision of the Federal Government to inject over N3 trillion into privatised electricity companies owned by individuals in the country.
Secretary General of the Union, Joe Ajaero, disclosed this during the public hearing on a bill to amend Electric Power Sector Reform Act, 2005 to provide the legal and institutional framework for the implementation and coordination of Rural Electrification Projects, establishment of the National Power Training Institute and Regulatory provisions to strengthen the sector for efficient service delivery and for related matters.
He lamented that the government had continued to inject the funds into the entities without commensurate increase in power generation in the last 10 years.
Ajaero, who argued that the privatisation has further compounded the economic woes, maintained that the privatisation policy was designed to fail from the onset.
According to him, there has not been meaningful improvement or contribution by the current investors 9 years after privatisation and 17 years after the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, 2005 was signed into law.
He emphasized the need to review the entire privatization exercise, saying: “Our position on privatisation is clear, but we are worried whether thee amendments are critically based on market private public where we belong now. Having tried privatisation for 10 years, and we are doing just the amendment of sections of the act and even the review provision in the act which gives provision for the review of the sector after five years and we have written consistently and it has not happened.
“This Act, are we really obeying it? If there is provision for review after five years, and Nigerians are groaning, consistently Nigerians are complaining and we say privatisation was based on the fact that government doesn’t have any business in it and government is pumping in money to an individuals business.
“As we speak now, almost N3 trillion has been pumped into the power sector which wasn’t there when it was owned by the government. So what’s the logic to say Government has no business in business and government now has to pump and fund the business of another man. And we need to sit down and see what is working for us.
“That is why we came here to say the laws we made by ourselves, we can pause and look at it and move on. Since nobody has to talk about reversion of privatisation, but let’s us see how it can ft us. As we are speaking today, the issue of tariffs is on, if government is pumping in trillions and Nigerians are being compelled to pay, you can see what is happening, the country is suffering.
“If you put two trillion (naira) in the economy of Nigeria today it will thrive, but it is being pumped into business owned by individuals. Let’s look at. What is the cost benefit analysis of this if we have to take our money, and go and check the records, for about 10 years before privatization, government didn’t put ten percent that money into the sector but it’s putting it now.