Nigeria’s Power Ministry Now Private Sector Driven

Usman Mohammed

Nigeria’s federal minister of power, works and housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, has revealed the new workings of the federal ministry of power.

At a town hall meeting, Fashola said the new power sector has been restructured from a government operated sector, to a regulatory and policy based ministry.

He revealed that the new power ministry only has a net staff strength of 800 people. According to him, the ministry does not get involved in any of the value chain such as generation, distribution and transmission.

“It is now a private sector driven business, my role is to ensure that all the previously approved contracts are completed. New contracts are created and executed by private companies” he said.

Fashola was given three portfolios after Nigeria took measures to cut cost and rationalise the numbers of government ministries. Power is a major problem in Nigeria. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria’s net generated power for the month of June was 63,608.73 Megawatts, this approximately 3,200 Megawatts per day.

Fashola aims to diversify Nigeria’s power sources through the introduction of solar, wind and other sources. He recently signed major agreements with Solar companies. Last week, Nigeria signed an agreement with Motir DuSable Power Investment Limited for a license to build up to 300MW solar plant in Enugu, South East Nigeria.

The earlier Nigeria fix its power, the better. Fashola’s approach to engage the private sector is a way to go, especially when the country is struggling to get out  of a recession. Jobs and other positive consequences of foreign direct investment in the power sector will have a ‘domino effect’ on the larger economy.

 

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