Senator Gabriel Suswam, Chairman Senate Committee on Power took the opening prayer.
Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi gave his welcome address. “This roundtable discussion was arranged out of concern of the Senate and the National Assembly in addressing power problems.”
“A lot of resources have been used in finding solutions into problems that have put this country backwards. It is the concern of the Senate to look into each other’s eyes and say the truth. We are here to own up to the issues that face this particular centre and work to find solutions to the major problem that affects the delivery of power to Nigeria.”- Senator Yahaya Abdullahi.
“This is as a result of a motion brought to the Senate on addressing Nigeria’s power problems on Tuesday, 19th November 2019 and Senate resolved to hold a round table discussion to address these issues and provide working solutions.”- Senator Gabriel Suswam.
“The challenges in the power sector can be categorized into five crowd areas: Institution and Governance, Infrastructural, Political, Legislative and Environmental. The workable solution may be holistic and should take into account these broad challenges. We are here today to find solutions to electricity challenges in our country.”- Senator Gabriel Suswam.
“The most important factor in addressing the power sector is building synergy and team spirit. We have identified this at the Ministerial level. I wish all of us a fruitful resolution that will help in solving these problems.”- Engr. Saleh Mamman, Minister of Power.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed ably represented by Evelyn Amobi gives her special remarks “The Minister appreciates the commitment of the legislative to work with the executive to resolve the issues affecting the power sector. All the decisions that will be made here will have our full support and be taken to the executive.”
Mrs. Rahila Thomas, Country Director, EMRC gave a presentation on the Evolution of Nigeria’s Electricity Supply Industry.
“DISCOS are not collecting sufficient cash to meet upstream obligations.”- Mrs. Rahila Thomas.
“If there is any single sector of our economy that is so important and so challenged, it is the power sector. This is a sector that needs a declaration of emergency. This is an opportunity for us to discuss the solutions and the way forward. The truth is we all know what is wrong, what we really need to do is to have the political will to take on the challenges frontally.”- Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON.
“From the electricity power reform of 2005 and the privatization of Discos, with what is happening today, we know that everything is wrong. The time has come for us to have courage. We have signed into AFCTA and I believe what will give us an edge is to have a competitive environment. Our industries must be able to produce things that will compete favorably to other products in Africa but we are not in that position today. Even our citizens who have capital would rather relocate to Ghana and produce what they want to sell and bring it to Nigeria.”- Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON.
“If we went wrong with the privatization of discos and Gencos, the time has come to look into it in the interest of our country. Definitely something is not working right. This round table is an idea of the senate that we should come together, talk amongst ourselves, ours is of course legislative intervention but we are also part of government. Whatever that is required to support the executive to amend the power sector reform, we are prepared to do that.”- Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON.
“We owe this country obligation to provide employment opportunities for our teeming population. I think this round table at least is an opportunity to come up with measurable roadmaps to take the power sector to the next level. I believe that we have to declare a state of emergency on power and courageous decisions must be taken by government. I believe that this is one interaction that will not disappear after this session we want to take appropriate actions. With this, It is my privilege and honour to declare this round table open.”- Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON.
Senator Aliyu Sabi gave vote of thanks “Thank you to our Distinguished Senate President and everyone present here for this important roundtable discussion. What has been said from the beginning has captured the reasons why we are here.”
“As it is being said, the power problem is true. I thank the Senate President for his initiative and Senate Leader who has been saddled with the responsibility of all roundtable activities, Senator Gabriel Suswam, Chairman Senate Committee on Power for ensuring that today is a reality, and mover of the motion, Senator Chukwuka Utazi who brought the motion for deliberation in the Senate, Senators Philip Aduda, James Manager, and Abubakar Kyari. The 9th Senate believes in strong partnership and that is why we have Ministers here. My colleagues who are here, I really do appreciate your presence.”- Senator Aliyu Sabi.
The round table discussion moved into a technical session.
New Media Unit
Office of the President of the Senate
Federal Republic of Nigeria