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Friday, July 21, 2017

Nigerians Spend About $5 Billion Yearly To Fuel Their Generators


Legislators in the House of Representatives have raised alarm over the annual cost of fueling generators which Nigerians resort to as alternative means of power supply.
At a public hearing on three power sector-related bills organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Power, Speaker Yakubu Dogara, disclosed that Nigerians spend an estimated sum of $5 billion to fuel their generators annually. This he described as highly unacceptable.

As part efforts to support the Executive in finding a permanent solution to the power problem in the country, Dogara disclosed that there are 3 bills pending before the lower chamber and explained that the lawmakers were reviewing some of Nigeria’s energy laws to provide appropriate legal framework that would facilitate the exploitation of renewable energy to the benefit of the economy. The 3 bills are :
  1. A bill for an act to provide for the utilisation, sustainability and adequate supply of renewable energy for electricity and heat generation and for other related matters.
  2. A bill for an act to amend the National Electricity Regulatory Commission metre reading, billing and cash collection and credit management for electricity supplies and regulations to address matters relating to outstanding liability of electric bills in rented apartments.
  3. A bill for an act to amend the electric power sector reform act to reposition the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission for effective service delivery and for related matters.

Arguing that power is the single most important driver of the national economy, the Speaker of the lower chamber said:
“Indeed, it is difficult, if not impossible, to imagine modern life without power. Our industries and factories need electricity to operate, and also our offices, homes and businesses.
“It is estimated that Nigerians spend about $5 billion yearly to fuel their generators.
“This is an unacceptable situation and the House of Representatives stands ready to support the Executive arm of government to put a stop to this state of affairs.”
Dogara stressed the need for Nigeria to invest more in renewable energy as fossil fuel is a diminishing asset. “Renewable energy sources are natural and often replenish themselves,” he said, noting that renewable energy is a source of clean energy which is environment-friendly and crucial to the economy of the future.
According to the Speaker, Nigeria can only be self-sufficient in the energy field when all its energy resources such as wind, solar, hydro, bio-mass, bio-fuel, landfill, sewage gas, solid waste, geo-thermal energy, ocean energy, etc are combined.
“An appropriate legal framework to exploit renewable energy which is nature’s gift to mankind is not adequate in Nigeria.
“This makes it difficult to organise the sector in a commercially viable matter. Herein lies the merit and strength of this Bill under consideration,” the speaker said.
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola who also spoke at the event, applauded the establishment of the Renewable Energy Fund in Nigeria.

Represented by Louis Edozien, Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry Power, Fashola emphasised the need for holistic review of the legislative frameworks governing the power industry.

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