Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare emergency on the nation’s power sector.
Lawan made the call on Monday at an ongoing one-day round-table discussion tagged ‘Addressing Nigeria’s Power Problems” being held at the NAF Conference Centre in Kado, Abuja.
The Senate President said investors in the country are relocating to Ghana and other neighboring countries to manufacture goods that they bring back to Nigeria to sell due to the challenge of power.
“If there is any single sector of our economy that is so important and so challenged, it is the power sector. This is a sector that needs a declaration of emergency. This is an opportunity for us to discuss the solutions and the way forward,” said Lawan.
“The truth is we all know what is wrong, what we really need to do is to have the political will to take on the challenges frontally. From the electricity power reform of 2005 and the privatization of Discos, with what is happening today, we know that everything is wrong. The time has come for us to have courage. We have signed into AFCTA and I believe what will give us an edge is to have a competitive environment.
“Our industries must be able to produce things that will compete favorably to other products in Africa but we are not in that position today.
“Even our citizens who have capital would rather relocate to Ghana and produce what they want to sell and bring it to Nigeria. If we went wrong with the privatization of Discos and Gencos, the time has come to look into it in the interest of our country.”
The Senate President noted that the round-table was an idea of the Senate that was born out of the need to for the legislators to come together and look at ways they could intervene in the power sector because “definitely something is not working right.”
He said, “Whatever that is required to support the executive to amend the power sector reform, we are prepared to do that. We owe this country obligation to provide employment opportunities for our teeming population.
“I think this round table at least is an opportunity to come up with measurable roadmaps to take the power sector to the next level. I believe that we have to declare a state of emergency on power and courageous decisions must be taken by government.
“I believe that this is one interaction that will not disappear. After this session we want to take appropriate actions. With this, it is my privilege and honour to declare this round table open,” said the Senate President.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, who was represented at the event by Evelyn Amobi, said she “appreciates the commitment of the legislative to work with the executive to resolve the issues affecting the power sector.”
“All the decisions that will be made here will have our full support and be taken to the executive,” said Ahmed.