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Privatisation of power distribution designed to fail—NERC former boss

Former chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr Sam Amadi, has once again, argued that the entire unbundling of former Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in November 2013 and the subsequent privatisation of the power distribution segment was programmed to fail.
He described the process that brought in the 11 electricity Distribution Companies (Discos) as faulty, noting that no amount of capital injection would revive the segment because the owners of the Discos lacked requisite technical competence and financial capacity to drive the power wheel of the nation from day one.
He noted that since the so called private investors took over distribution and generation firms “to ensure an adequate, regular and stable supply of electricity to the consumer at a reasonable cost,” the economy had known no peace which goes further to vindicate his stand on the power crisis rocking the nation.
According to him, “The power sector was designed to fail. We failed to corporatise and commercialize before privatizing; we privatize senselessly without paying attention to context and corporate governance and regulatory regime; we sold to investors who lacked capacity.
On issues concerning Discos cries over tariff regime review, he averred that “the challenges in the sector go beyond tariff increase; as such move would further force manufacturers off the grid.
He said “Cost reflective is important, but excessive tariff hike is problematic because it cannot be collected and in a country with poor supply the propensity to pay is low,” he added.