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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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