Nigeria Senate President Calls for Review of Power Assets Sale

(Bloomberg) --

Nigeria’s senate president has called for the immediate review of power assets sold by the previous administration to private individuals.

“I think the time has come to review, and probably reverse this privatization because if we stay as it is today, for the next ten years there will be no power in Nigeria, as the situation is. So we need to be decisive about the power sector,” Ahmad Lawan, president of Nigeria’s senate said in an emailed statement.

The privatized firms have shown that they have no capacity to provide power, Lawan said.

Lawmakers in the West African nation’s senate also called for an investigation into billions of naira given operators in the sector by the government since the firms were sold. It urged the government to suspend a planned electricity tariff increase that is to come into effect on July 1.

Power shortage in Africa’s largest crude producer is common with residents who get an average of 9.5 hours of electricity a day. The lack of access to reliable energy supply is estimated to cost $29 billion a year in economic output, analysts at FBN Quest said in an investment note sent to clients May 13.

Businesses suffer an average of monthly power outage of 239 hours, equivalent of about two weeks, with self-generation putting pressure on household pockets.

“Nigerians spend an estimated $14 billion a year on small-scale generators” according to FBN Quest.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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