Power Sector: Privatising Cuts Ministry Staff By 14,000
The 2013 privatisation of power sector cut staff numbers down from 15,000 to less than 1,000, says power, works and housing minister Babatunde Fashola.
Fashola who said this when he inaugurated the Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) at the Ministry in Abuja recently said staff retired as a consequence of the privatization and transfer of ownership to the GenCos and the DisCos,” he explained.
The minister said the ministry has been reduced to formulating power sector policies and does not operate the Generation Companies (GenCos) or the Distribution Companies (DisCos). Fashola however clarified that the Ministry only supervises Yola DisCo where, the privatization became problematic and a force majeure was declared.
Urging the owners of the privatised assets to take up responsibility of attending to their electricity customers he said, “The owners of the DisCos are the ones who now have the challenge and responsibility of distributing electricity to Nigerians.”
On the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) which was not privatised, Fashola said the firm is now run as a business to transmit electricity adding that NERC, an umpire in the sector with a new Chairman polices both the private and public firms. “So that is the Policeman of the Power Industry”, he added.
The minister who expressed concerns about the distribution network said generation is now at 7,000 megawatts (MW), transmission at over 7,000MW and distribution at 5,000MW. He noted that more power is coming from the 459MW Azura Power shortly.
“We are expecting another 240MW from Afam, 215MW from Kaduna, and from Kashimbilla. There is a lot of power coming. So, the distribution end is where our real challenge lies,” he said.