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Senate: Kyari Heads Power Sector Probe Committee

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BEVERLY HILLS, August 29, (THEWILL) – Senator Abubakar Kyari (Borno North), Friday, emerged chairman of a 13-member committee to probe the management of funds allocated to the sector since 1999.

With a mandate to look into the unbundling of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), among others, the probe committee, which also has Senators Godswill Akpabio, Babajide Omoworare, Mohammed Hassan, Ali Wakili, Mao Ohuabunwa, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, Olusola Adeyeye and Mohammed Shaaba Lafiagi as members, is expected to conclude its investigation and report back to the Senate within four weeks.

The Senate Thursday unanimously agreed to go ahead with the probe of the privatisation of the PHCN and the country’s investment on power generation since 1999 arguing that the several billions of dollars invested in the power sector had not yielded expected results.

It would be recalled that the Senate had implored President Muhammadu Buhari to mandate the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to immediately reconnect Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, to the national grid even as it urged the Federal Government to complete the Mambilla Power Project to improve electricity supply.

While setting up the committee two weeks ago, the Senate had condemned the inability of TCN to provide continuous and uninterrupted power supply to all parts of the country.

This is as the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, had expressed worry that Nigeria with a population of over 150 million produces only 4, 600 mega watts while South Africa with population of about 40 million people produces 40,000 mega watts.

Lamenting that the disconnection from the national grid and degeneration of power supply across the country had affected economic activities because of the collapse of several industries, Ndume expressed concern that with an installed power generation potential of about 5,000 mega watts, the output being distributed currently was about 1,950 megawatts of energy of electricity.

Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki had also noted that besides corruption, lack of power supply had plunged the country into hardship.

“We thought that with the Power Reform Act and unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), we will begin to see a relief with regard to power supply; unfortunately, it is not so.”

“The ad-hoc committee we will set up should look at the activities of the DISCOS and what is preventing Nigerians from benefiting from the unbundling of the PHCN,” he said while setting up the committee.