The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila says estimated billing system in the power sector “remains a no, no,” and whatever needs to be done to address the issue must be carried out.
He said this on Tuesday in Abuja, while inaugurating the House Ad hoc Committee on Power Sector Reforms, chaired by House Leader, Rep. Alhassan Doguwa.
Gbajabiamila said setting up the ad-hoc committee became necessary because of the resolve of the house to ensure a comprehensive review of all legislation relating to the power sector.
He added that he was personally concerned about the myriad of challenges in the power sector.
“Our nation has long struggled with the problem of fixing the power sector in Nigeria and getting it to work in the optimal interest of all our people.
“We have not succeeded, inspite of the best efforts of many.
“The consequences of that failure are evident in the many industries that have collapsed across the country.
“It is also apparent in the abysmally low productivity of existing industries due to the enormous cost of generating their power independently.
“The power sector is so integral to our national economic growth, to national security and even to social development that we cannot ever stop trying to get it right.”
Gbajabiamila said that to address the issues, the green chamber had on May 12 resolved to set up the committee to undertake a holistic review of the power sector in Nigeria and to recommend legislative action to it.
He charged the committee to take steps to ensure that the house fulfils its commitment of a comprehensive review of all legislation in the power sector.
“It would not be an easy task. Nation-building rarely is, but it will be a worthwhile effort when at the end of it, we can initiate and complete necessary legislative reforms to remove the regulatory and bureaucratic bottlenecks that continue to mitigate against optimum performance in the sector.”
He, however, expressed confidence in the ability of the committee leadership and the members to deliver on the critical assignment given to them.
“I assure you of my support and that of the House of Representatives. Still, I must ask you to keep three things in mind.
“First, the complexity of the issues in the power sector are such that your success will depend a great deal on your ability to engage productively with experts and stakeholders across the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry. Please do not be reluctant in this regard.
“Secondly, be sure to resist any and all attempts to compromise your work or unduly influence the recommendations you make to the House.
“Finally, remember that success in this assignment may very well be the defining factor of both your legacies as well as the legacy of the ninth House of Representatives”, he said.
Earlier, Doguwa thanked the speaker for finding him and other members of the panel worthy of carrying out such an important national assignment.
According to him, in spite of the huge investments made in the power sector over the years, Nigerians hardly feel the impact.
He assured that the committee would do its best to unravel the situation.
He said they would serve with their strength and sense of commitment, responsibility and patriotism and that they would not leave any stone unturned to right the wrongs in the power sector. (NAN)