The Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, has questioned the role of the Power minister with respect to delivering electricity to households and businesses across the country.
Because virtually all arms of the electricity value chain had been taken away from the control of the minister, Sanusi says he often asked people to tell him what the responsibility of the Power minister was while he was governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Emir Sanusi points out that one of the reasons why we’ve not made much improvement on power is due to a lack of coordinating mechanisms.
Sanusi explains that the Minister of Power controls nothing, since he cannot boast of delivering 1,000 megawatts because he can actually build a gas powered turbine and not have the gas. This is because the gas is under the control of a different ministry.
According to him, for Hydro, the dams belong to the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and the sites around the dams belong to the state governments. The water turbines belong to the Ministry of Power, but if you want to use hydro, the Ministry of Power does not have the dams.
In a keynote address during a stakeholders’ workshop on Road Transport Management and Mass Transit Operations in Nigeria organised by the Federal Ministry of Transportation in Abuja, the Emir said;
“Very often in this country, we do not give as much focus as we should to the organic link between the objectives, our strategies, processes, procedures and our results.
“And one example I’ve always given is the power sector in Nigeria. I used to ask this question that, ‘please what really is the Power minister responsible for?’ And it sounds like a silly question.
“But the truth is, I don’t know about now, but as of the time I was in government, could anyone legitimately hold the Power minister responsible for delivering power?
“The PHCN (Power Holding Company of Nigeria) was privatised by the Bureau of Public Enterprises; the Ministry of Petroleum Resources is responsible for gas; regulation and pricing is done by the NERC (Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission), which is an independent body.”
The Emir also stated that a similar situation could be seen in the transport sector, but urged stakeholders in the industry to form a forum from where activities in the sector would be coordinated in order to achieve meaningful results.