…demands power minister sacking over inefficiency
Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), on Monday, lambasted the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), over the constant collapse of the national power grid for the past seven years since he came into power in May 2015.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, described as shameful and sign of a failed leader, the widespread blackout that besiege Nigerians all the time due to the collapse of Nigeria’s electricity grid. HURIWA lamented that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is mishandling the electricity power sector like a bunch of infants groping in the dark and wondered what has become his campaign promises to revive the electricity power sector even as the Rights group has now asked President Muhammadu Buhari to restore the Power sector to the stage that it was in 2015 before his incompetent government came on board.
The group demanded the sacking of the Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, for inefficiency especially with the fifth collapse of the national grid in 2022 alone.
There was widespread blackout across the country on Sunday following the collapse of the national power grid, making it the fifth this year alone. Many electricity distribution companies alerted their users in messages across social media.
It was learnt that the grid collapse on Sunday occurred around 6.49pm, leading to the shutdown of the outgoing electricity feeders of some power distribution companies.
Reacting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The recurring electricity power failure is unfortunate and totally avoidable. More saddening is the inability of President Muhammadu Buhari to put the right expert in place as minister due to nepotism and partisanship which is inevitably hurting and harming the citizens.
“The World Bank just predicted that more Nigerians will fall into poverty and we think the deliberate failure of the Buhari’s administration to fix the electricity power sector due to endemic corruption will contribute massively to more joblessness as small and medium scale enterprises that rely on power supplies from the national grid will fold up and are already disengaging their staff.
“Despite the humongous amount spent on the power sector, no improvement has been made as corruption continues to cripple this vital sector.
“For instance, the Buhari government has spent over N1.7 trillion on the electricity sector since 2017. In September 2021, Buhari said that Nigeria needed over $400bn to fund its critical energy needs, according to a statement quoted by Bloomberg.
“Also, according to the World Bank, the Buhari government has borrowed a total of N1.3tn since 2017 to ensure that generation companies continue generating electricity, adding that it would cost the Federal Government an additional N3.08tn through 2023, if current performance levels and low tariffs persist.
“Alternative source of energy is also a no-go area as artificial scarcity by corrupt middlemen dictate price of fuel. Now, diesel price per litre is at over N500 now, petrol price reaching N200 per litre, and soaring cooking gas at over 300 per cent, amongst others. This is despite that under Buhari, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited has spent N100 billion on the rehabilitation of the nation’s refineries in 2021 despite not producing a single drop of oil.
“HURIWA call on the President to fire the heads of the different power sector related agencies including the inefficient and incompetent politician in the ministry of power as minister. Nigeria needs the best of hands; round pegs in round holes to solve the power quagmire for Nigeria to generate and distribute at least above 5,000 megawatts daily. Or did we offend God by bringing Muhammadu Buhari to power in 2015 and 2019?”
June 13, 2022
National Coordinator – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).