Power sector: Flops, contradictions heighten call for Minister, Adelabu’s sack

Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu’s recent contradictions on the transfer of electricity regulatory oversight to the state has added to his collection of flops.

The development has further heightened calls for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to sack Adelabu ahead of his one-year anniversary in office on May 29, 2024.

Recall that Adelabu announced last Friday at the 8th Edition of Africa Energy Market Place in Abuja the suspension of the state government’s electricity regulatory oversight.

The announcement represents an open fight against the 2023 Electricity Act.

Adelabu spoke at the two-day stakeholders’ workshop organized by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, in Lagos.

Explaining his latest stance, Adelabu said the federal government would not go against the 2023 Electricity Act.

“The grant of regulatory autonomy to states is a provision of the new Act, and no one person can single-handedly go against the Act.

“It’s a provision of the law and no law-abiding officer of the state will want to go against the law. It is already included, and it must be duly respected,” he said.

In April, the NERC transferred oversight of the electricity market to Enugu, Ekiti, and Ondo states.

The development kicked off the decentralization of Nigeria’s power sector.

Under the plan, states control the entire generation, transmission and distribution sector value chain.

But this is the first time the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry is witnessing structural change.

The privatization of 2013 espoused similar hope. However, over ten years later, the hope has been dashed. The Minister’s flip-flop comments may have worsened the situation.

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Nigerians turning freezers on comment

Meanwhile, Adelabu’s policy-induced comment may not have helped Nigeria’s power sector challenges.

His infamous April comment blaming the country’s power woes on Nigerians switching on their freezers compounded citizenry anger amid a 240-hour electricity price hike period.

However, he apologized to Nigerians for his comment that Nigerians misuse electricity because it is cheap.

Nigeria will be thrown into darkness

Similarly, during his appearance at a Senate Committee on Power, the Minister further compounded the problem by threatening Nigerians with darkness if the electricity hike was not implemented.

The threat offended the sensibility of Nigerians grappling with an epileptic power supply.

In the year alone, the country has had at least three blackouts. On February 4, March 28 and April 15

Nigeria’s power generation has stagnated from 3000 megawatts to 5000 since pre-privatization.

The development led Nigerians and stakeholders to call for the Minister’s sack.

Adelabu doing well in Power sector- Media Adviser

Meanwhile, in a telephone interview with DAILY POST, Bolaji Tunji, Adelabu’s Special Adviser on Strategic Communications and Media Relations, said the minister had performed optimally in the last year.

According to him, Nigeria’s electricity supply has improved under the stewardship of the Minister.

He refuted claims that stakeholders wanted the Minister sacked.

“I haven’t heard stakeholders speak badly about the Minister’s performance.

“The country’s power sector has improved recently from 4,000 megawatts to 5000mw. And we are still going further. There will be light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.

Lack of policy consistencies tormenting Tinubu’s administration- Prof Iledare

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In an exclusive interview with DAILY POST, Wumi Iledare, Professor Emeritus and Executive Director of Emmanuel Egbogah Foundation said the country’s power sector, like all sectors, was suffering from chaos and a lack of policy consistency.

He noted that policy irregularities could not translate to informed decisions that would lead to sustainable national development.

“As I have said in many forums recently, that understanding is deeper than knowledge.

“Many decision makers driving the governance of the energy sector- oil, gas, and power in Nigeria, though, may know the sector, perhaps their understanding of its complexity is very delimited.

“Thus, one can understand recent chaos and lack of policy consistency.

“Over the years, some of us have advocated for decentralizing governance and regulatory institutions of the power sector, which the Electricity Act 2023 recently did. PIA 2021 offers similar opportunities, calling for the deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector.

“Unfortunately, this administration prefers Executive Orders to the Provisions of an Act!

“The truism in these irregularities is not to expect transactionally informed decisions to translate to sustainable national development. Only transformational ideas and policies can do that,” he told DAILY POST.

Sack Adelabu- CSJ Director, Onyekpere tells Tinubu

The Lead Director of the Centre for Social Justice, Eze Onyekpere, has urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to punish Adelabu for his abysmal performance.

He noted that the Minister is the worst performing.

“The truth is that the Minister is the worst performing in terms of all measures. Can you stop a law that was made by the National Assembly and signed by the president?

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“He is evidently confused. I am expecting President Bola Tinubu to sack him by May 29. If he doesn’t, it shows he is not serious,” he declared.

Ewetumo A A, a retired staff member of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, formerly the National Electric Power Authority, NEPA, aligned with Onyekpere’s call for Adelabu’s sack.

“The Minister’s unqualified comical errors have clearly portrayed him as utterly unfit for the job and office of overseeing the nation’s power sector.

“He lacks the capacity, period.

“He should be reassigned or let go”, he said.

Recall that Tinubu’s predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, had sacked Maman Saleh as Power Minister in September 2021.

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God'swill Ofigo
Nigeria Blogger / Social Media Promoter/ Talent Manager/ Entertainer/ CEO OfyNaija Blog. WhatsApp: 0904709861

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