Power sector privatisation increases suffering of masses – NLC chair

The chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Oyo state, Comrade Kayode Martins, has said that the privatisation of electricity by the federal government is a curse and not a blessing.

Speaking at a public symposium organised by Coalition for Affordable and Regular Electricity (CARE), Oyo state chapter themed “Privatisation of Electricity, Curse or Blessing” in Ibadan, the Oyo NLC chairman stated that the said privatisation has increased suffering for the masses in Nigeria.

Comrade Martins added that electricity privatisation would have been of a greater benefit to Nigerians, particularly the artisans if it was sold to the right handlers, saying, the privatisation was just a blessing to those benefiting from the rottenness in the power sector, as well as adding to the suffering of the masses.

The Oyo NLC chairman added the deplorable state of electricity in the country has forced some Nigerian youth and artisans to become jobless due to epilepsy power supply by the Distribution Company of Nigeria (DISCO).

“PHCN was not totally sold, government still has 40% stake, and government failed to played its own part. We are blessed with a lot of resources in this nation. Power privatisation would have been a blessing if the management was committed to the right person, but it rather had to peoples suffering”, he said.

The NLC chairman pointed out that those benefiting from the rot in the electricity sector will never see anything wrong with the power sector as a blessing for them, not minding that it is a curse to a common man.

Oyo state chairman of National Union of Electricity Employee (NUEE), Comrade Olaide Idris declared that the Distribution Companies should not be blamed for irregularly power supply.

Comrade Idris tasked the federal government to play its part in stabilising electricity in the country, saying, for adequate power supply in the country, there must be proper monitoring of money allocated for electricity so that it can get to the right channels.

The NUEE chairman emphasised the urgent need for genuine war against corruption, planning project for electricity in various communities, good remuneration for electricity staff, and eradication of thefts by consumers.

Convener of CARE in Oyo state, Comrade Akinbodunse Shedrak described privatisation as waste of money because government is still pumping money to a system that is not yielding positive result.

“We were promised that every house in Nigerian will be metered within three months before the privatization. Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission is one of the problem electricity consumers are having.”