Nigerians have been experiencing epileptic power supply for some days now. Explaining the cassu belli, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) blamed vandals. The agency announced yesterday that power supply through the national grid which peaked to 5000 megawatts in the past two weeks recently dropped below 2,800 megawatts due to vandalism.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) is greatly perturbed by this ugly development. It is very sad, bewildering and frustrating. But we will not allow them to intimidate us into submission. Aluta continua.
Poor power supply has been the bane of the Nigerian economy for more than three decades. The implication of this prolonged non-performance is that successive administrations have been long in quest for power but short in service delivery. Apart from corruption, there have always been wide gaps between planning, political will, transparency, implementation, maintenance and sustenance.
This is where we want the Federal Government (FG) to turn its floodlight. Nigerians have seen government’s plan for reform in the power sector. It looks credible and it is already being implemented. Presently there is iron-studded political will as manifested in the pedigree of President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB). Transparency is the middle name of the Buhari administration. But we must not get stuck when it gets to maintenance and sustenance.
NERC has blamed the current drop on vandalism. The vandals are not ghosts. It simply means that something is wrong with the security arrangements. It is like chasing the shadows if we expect communities to protect installations. People must sleep in their homes and vandals will naturally strike when it gets dark and people are resting.
A water-tight security arrangement must therefore be made for power facilities. Apart from the police and the army, NERC can create a security unit to watch its installations throughout the country. This unit can be made up of citizens from the local communities employed for that purpose.
MURIC is however looking beyond the story of vandals. We smell a rat. PMB must take his microscopes and go back into the presidential laboratory to re-examine both the nature and structure of Distribution Companies (DISCOS).
Why did electricity become so constant and so steady in the first, second and third months of Buhari’s emergence as president? Was it not because those in charge were not sure of the actions PMB might take if they played pranks with electricity?
The civilian coup in the Nigerian legislature which was calculated to slow down PMB emboldened the suppliers of electricity or, better still, producers of darkness to the extent that they fell back on plan ‘B’. These agents of darkness may not want PMB to succeed and like those chief executives appointed by former President Jonathan in the twilight of his administration, they may be actively sabotaging his administration.
We remind Nigerians how MURIC raised an alarm when Jonathan started appointing people irrationally even when it was a few days to go. We saw the trap. Jonathan was laying land mines and actively engaging in forward-looking political sabotage.
We advised PMB at the time to ensure that all those so appointed should be summarily sacked as soon as he settled down. We suspected very strongly at the time that the only purpose for such appointments could only be the creation of clogs in the wheel of progress for the next administration. We saw it as callous, selfish and patriotic.
PMB should be commended for retaining them for so long for whatever reason, perhaps out of compassion. He just started sacking them two weeks ago. But he has not touched the producers of darkness. MURIC is hereby insisting that ‘Ghana must go!’
Let there be light!
Fashola must take a second look at the satanic and deceitful statistics presented to him by these agents of darkness planted by Jonathan and separate the wheat from the chaff.
Enough is enough. Is it not time for electricity firms to publish a realistic schedule for the deployment of meters? Nigerians are being blindfolded and made to pay crazy bills through their noses. They don’t see what they pay for. It is sheer infringement of
Allah-given fundamental rights of consumers. Tariffs have hit the roof but supply has not only nose-dived, it has hit the ground and still digging in!
No country can attain technological breakthrough without steady electricity. Poor power supply encumbers economic growth, retards industrial progress and beclouds all forms of academic activity both on the part of the students, researchers and teachers.
Lack of electricity is also a potent threat to lives and properties. Three people were roasted alive in Lagos two days ago when their fuel-laden bus burst into flames. Buildings get burned when fuel is stored inside but who is to blame? Why do we have to store fuel in our homes if there is constant electricity?
The citizens’ welfare depends largely on availability of constant power supply. Nigerians are not so happy today because they are made to face heat in the night as fuel shortage coincided with a near total blackout. Fuel is currently selling between N130 and N200.
In conclusion, FG must go back to the drawing board to evolve a foolproof security system for power installations and to fish out saboteurs among the DISCOS. Consumers must have access to meters without tears. Crazy bills must stop.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)