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Friday, 23 February 2024 07:15

NLC Blames IMF, World Bank For Nigeria’s Power Sector Crisis

Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has blamed the International Monetary Fund, IMF, and World Bank for the power sector crisis in Nigeria.

This came as workers in the nation’s power sector called for a total review of the power sector privatization, saying the exercise was a huge failure that did not meet the expectations of Nigerians.

President of NLC, Joe Ajaero, in a goodwill message, yesterday in Enugu during the 7th Quadrennial/12 Delegates Conference of the National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, lamented that Nigeria was still very low in capacity in terms of megawatts, contending that no nation could develop without electricity.

Ajaero also fumed that despite billions of Naira pumped into the power sector over the years, Nigeria was still grappling with 4,000 megawatts of electricity, blaming the IMF and World Bank for the power sector crisis in Nigeria, saying they “want Nigeria to remove subsidy on electricity as they ill-advised Nigeria to remove fuel subsidy as well as devalue the naira. Up till tomorrow, the IMF and the World Bank will continue to dictate to us. They are telling Nigeria to completely remove subsidies on electricity. What’s their interest? Why can’t they tell America to remove subsidy on wheat.”

In his welcome address President of NUEE, Martin Uzoegwu, urged the Federal Government to encourage and harness the abundant renewable energy resources in the country and do away with fossil fuels to improve power generation in Nigeria.

Uzoegwu, in valedictory speech, posited that if renewable energy source replaces fossil fuels, it would reduce climate change in Nigeria.

He noted that the world is already moving towards an energy transition.

“Government should encourage and harness the abundant renewable energy source as against the use of fossil fuel to improve power generation and reduce the effect of climate change in Nigeria as the world is moving towards just energy transition,” he said.

The outgoing NUEE President, while urging the government to shift from fossil fuel to renewable energy sources, also called on the government to consider a total review of the privatisation of the power sector, saying that the exercise was a huge failure that did not meet the expectation of Nigerians in terms of energy demands and tariff.

He lamented that the government that should have regulated the energy sector looked the other way while investors throttled Nigerians.

“I strongly call for a total review of the privatization of the power sector as the entire exercise was a gross failure and did not meet the expectation of the Nigerian people regarding energy demands, affordable tariff, power availability, ease of procurement of prepayment meters.

“Unfortunately, the government which is the regulator looks the other way while the so-called investors smile to the banks to the detriment of Nigerian people who are compelled to pay for darkness,” he laments.

Uzoegwu used the opportunity to condemn the dastardly manner the President of NLC, Comrade Joe Ajaero was manhandled in Imo State during the 2023 general elections, pointing out that the perpetrators of the dastardly act should be brought to book to assuage the organised labour.

Earlier, the Managing Director, MD/CEO, Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, Engr. Sule Abdulaziz, urged NUEE to use the forum to harness insights and craft solutions, adding that the power sector holds a pivotal position in driving economic development.

Abdulaziz represented by GM, Enugu region of TNC, Engr. Emmanuel Akpa reiterated the company’s commitment to provide unwavering support and an enabling environment for workers.

According to him, “Undoubtedly, the power sector holds a pivotal position in driving economic development, making forums like this essential for harnessing insights and crafting solutions.

“Therefore, as you convene to deliberate on the challenges and opportunities within the industry and the way forward, it is imperative to recognize the indispensable role of electricity employees in translating ideas into tangible outcomes.

“As leaders, it is incumbent upon us to provide unwavering support and create an enabling environment for our workforce. The fruitful relationship between TCN management and NUEE is a testament to our shared commitment to staff welfare and organizational success. Together, we will continue to prioritize employee well-being and foster a conducive working environment.”

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