Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on Tuesday, May 31, 2016, appeared before a Senate Joint Committee for a public hearing on hike in electricity tariff in the country.
The Senate organised the hearing, which is expected to last two days, to hear from the Minister why Nigerians had to pay more for unstable electricity supply.
Stakeholders in the power sector converged for the public hearing, which took place at the Senate Conference Hall, Room 022, Ground Floor, New Building, National Assembly, to discuss the issue.
Chairmen of both the Committee on Labour, Employment & Productivity and Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy, Senators Suleiman Nazif and James Manager grilled Fashola at the occasion.
Comrade Joe Ajaero of the National Union of Electricity Employees said electricity tariff increment is anti-masses.
A representative of the Trade Union Congress, TUC, Engr Chris Okonkwo, queried why DISCOs took the risk to invest in the sector when then did not initially “ascertain the depth of your risk.”
In his response, the Minister maintained that the privatisation of the power sector was never done during the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, but appraising the past government for the bold step.
“If electricity privatization process was bad, where was oversight?” he asked, noting that though “service has not improved, but confidence has come into the system.”
Fashola noted that privatization of the power sector was crucial in order to meet up the massive need of the people.
“We have departed from the old ways of doing things. This is contract regime,” he adds.
The public hearing, tagged ‘Electricity Tariff Hike in Nigeria’ is expected to continue on Wednesday, June 1, 2016 by 10am.