Intermittent power failure yesterday in Abuja disrupted the investigative hearing session on the alleged unwholesome practices in the power sector which forced the Ad-hoc Committee on Power headed by Senator Abubakar Kyari (APC, Borno North) to adjourn the session.
At eight different times, there was power outage starting from 2:10pm as the hearing was going on, leading to the usage of rechargeable lamps and camera lights to power the session.
The session, which was the last day of the interactive session with stakeholders in the power sector, started at 11:30am and ended abruptly at 4:00 pm due to 10-15minutes of power failure at intervals.
The chairman of the committee, who was not spared of the embarrassment, while commenting on issues raised by some of the stakeholders, vowed to investigate the cause of constant outages.
“The power outages experienced here today further underscores the relevance of this committee at this critical time but we shall investigate whether they are deliberate or not,” he said, adding that the public hearing on the sector will hold in due course.
It all started when the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Igali, was making a submission on behalf of the various electricity companies at the session.
Other critical stakeholders caught in the power outage while making presentations include the Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, Mr. Benjamin Dikki; Chairman of the National Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, and some chief executives of electricity distribution companies, DISCOs.
Earlier, investors in the sector lamented that they are running at a great loss due to a myriad of factors.
Managing Director of the Enugu Distribution Company, Mr. Robert Dickerman, who spoke on behalf of all the Distribution Companies, DISCOs, said the entire industry is being run at a deficit of N20 billion per month.
This, according to him, was due to over 50 percent of electricity consumers not metered and about 30 percent that are not even on the billing system of the service providers.
He also alleged that even the N100 billion subsidy promised by the federal government was not fulfilled.
A submission corroborated by the CEO, Ibadan Electricity Generating Company, Adeoye Fagbembi, on behalf of the six generating companies, GENCOs, who said the transmission loss between them and the electricity distributors have become a big issue, even as the N100 billion subsidy earlier promised by the government to bridge the loss gap, is yet to be fulfilled.
But the BPE director-general, in his submission, said the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has paid N5 billion out of the N100 billion promised by the government, but admitted that the sector is presently being run at a loss by the investors.

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