Saboteurs, cartels frustrating efforts to improve power supply – Adelabu

The Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, Tuesday, lamented that saboteurs and cartels in the electricity sector are frustrating the efforts to improve power supply in the country.

Adelabu, who spoke in Abuja at the House of Representatives Committee on Power’s programme tagged: “Confronting Nigeria’s Power Challenge as the Nation Migrates to a Multi-Tier Electricity Market”, however, blamed them for the incessant power outages in the country.

The minister said saboteurs and cartels were perpetrating evil for their selfish interests to frustrate efforts at ensuring a stable electricity supply in the country.

“We have saboteurs, cartels, and those who prefer to perpetrate evil for their selfish interests to frustrate our efforts,” Adelabu said.

He said all efforts must be geared towards propelling the country to the League of Productive Nations, adding that Nigeria was looking at reserves that would eliminate incessant power collapse.

He said the federal government was considering the liberalisation of the power sector.

Adelabu listed Abia as one of the states that had invested in power, adding that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had also granted Ekiti and Enugu State the right to generate tariffs.

The minister said it was worrisome that a lot of investors did not come with their private equity, but had to borrow money from the bank to operate in the sector.

He, however, said with time, investors would be made to operate the right way for the benefit of the sector.

The minister also said that FG was looking at deepening rural electrification, adding that it would be done in collaboration with the state governments.

Adelabu said there were over 100 uncompleted power projects across the country, adding that those projects would not be energy-efficient without being completed.

Also speaking, the Group Managing Director of Sahara Power Group, Mr Kola Adeshina, expressed regret that Nigeria could not supply electricity efficiently despite its abundant gas resources.

He said if electricity was not a priority in the budget provision, it would be difficult for the country to work.

He said the country had the resources to double its power generation and urged the government to prioritise industrial areas in power distribution.