Senate President Bukola Saraki says the privatisation of the power sector has failed.
Saraki said this on Tuesday in his message at the opening session of the Senate, while also decrying the policy inconsistencies that have continued to challenge the business environment.
He said, “Before we left for the break, myself, a select few of us and stakeholders in the power sector met to get an understanding of why no progress has been made thus far despite the best intention; and the revelations were mind-boggling.
“There had been errors in the privatisation process and the model by which the power sector is being operated—whether at generation or distribution—will never take us where we need to be. It has failed and nobody appears willing to tackle the issue head-on towards a permanent resolution.
“I have mandated the Senate Committee on Power to continue the consultation with the relevant parties to forge a path to solving our crippling power deficit. After all, if we are going to drive Nigerian industry, we need to resolve this and fast.”
Saraki said for a private sector-led economy to thrive, there was the need to reform the policy environment to give investors and businessmen and women ample adjustment time to make informed investment decisions rather than have uncertainties.
He noted that this was especially important in the agriculture and solid mineral sectors, where there were significant economies of scale and opportunities for diversification of our economy.
Describing the petroleum industry as critical to the health of the nation’s economy, Saraki said the Senate wanted the executive to take positive steps to begin a “meaningful dialogue” with those aggrieved in the Niger Delta.
“The proposed engagement, we suggest must be sincere, constructive, open and confidence building. This Senate is willing to assist and play whatever role necessary to facilitate a successful agreement that would help us see to the end if the lingering conflict,” he said.
He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for showing faith with the work of the National Assembly by signing 16 of the bills passed by the legislature into law.