The Senate has urged the Federal Government to immediately incorporate Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) for the implementation of alternative energy projects.
These ropower, solar as well as wind power projects.
Also, the upper legislative chamber urged the Federal Government to separate the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing by appointing a substantive Power Minister.
In late 2015, President Buhari had merged the three ministries, headed by Babatunde Fashola, former Lagos State Governor. However, lawmakers believed this would not allow for efficiency in the system.
It equally called on the government to transfer all generation, transmission and rural electrification projects to the respective agencies for proper administration.
These resolutions followed a motion on ‘The Need to establish and delegate Special Purpose Vehicles to execute and Operate Major Power Sector Development Projects.’
The motion was sponsored by Mustapha Bukar (APC. Katsina State).
Bukar noted that the Federal Government in 2004, conceived of the idea of an Integrated Power Project which metamorphosed into Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited (NDPHC) incorporated in 2005.
“This was in government’s quest to bridge the power gap for sustained economic growth in Nigeria by adding significant new generation capacity to Nigeria’s electricity supply system.”
He noted that the National Assembly enacted the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act, 2005 on March 11, 2005, which kick-started the process of privatisation of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).
This, he said was in a bid to develop a Competitive Electricity Market with the establishment of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
“The privatisation exercise became effective on November 1, 2013 when the unbundled Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) was sold and transferred to successful bidders of the 6 Generation Companies (GENCOs) and the 11 Distribution Companies (DISCOs).
“The ownership and control of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) was retained by the Federal Government for strategic reasons,” he said.
In his contribution, Chairman Senate Committee on Power, Eyinnaya Abaribe said the committee was already acting along its own mandate for oversight.
“We are working toward ensuring that these concerns that have been raised by this motion was looked into.
“The Ministry of Power today is combined with Works and Housing and the thrust of the ministry is to give quality direction.
“But what we find is the ministry continues to appropriate these jobs that are specifically meant to be done by agencies under the ministry. We are taking measures to see whether we can bring back the Ministry back to what it ought to be,” Abaribe said.
Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu who presided over the session, said talks about growing the economy would not work unless the power sector was repositioned.
“We need to create a situation where we have energy sufficiency. So long as the private sector depends on private arrangement for energy requirements, the cost of goods will continue to be high especially the ones produced here,” he said.
Other resolutions include: urging the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to use gas as the source of Energy for the Kaduna Project in accordance with the original project concepts and the MOU signed with gas suppliers to complete the project as adequate provision has been made for the project in the 2017 Budget; urging the government to employ qualified management team to take charge of the project development in the SPVs and gradually resource the companies in readiness for full operations when the projects are commissioned; urging the SPVs when created to comply with the provisions of the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act by applying to NERC for the generation licenses and to the TCN for Grid inter-connection approval and charging the Federal Government to include coals as alternative power source.