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Nigeria: President Jonathan heads Action committee on Power

President Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has set up an action committee to reform the power sector and improve the country’s erratic electricity supply

A Presidential Action Committee on Power chaired by President Goodluck Jonathan and supported by a Presidential Task Force on Power is expected to transform the sector and “breathe life into electric power in the country,” Ima Niboro, presidential spokesman said in a statement Tuesday.

He said the committee will provide guidance for the development of the power industry, and determine the general policy direction and strategic focus of the ongoing power reform.

Niboro said vice president Mohammed Namadi Sambo is the committee’s alternate chairman. Other members include the ministers of finance, national planning, and petroleum resources, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the minister of state for power and a special adviser on power.

The task force, he said, is to develop and drive the action plan with achievable targets within the lifespan of the present administration.

In Nigeria, a major oil producer with a population of about 150 million, serious power problems have stunted industrial, social and economic development over the years.

A series of reforms by previous governments and the billions of petrodollars pumped into the power sector in the past have achieved little.

Niboro added that the task force is also to articulate a proper plan of action for power generation, transmission and distribution as well as all issues regarding power sector reform.

The planned reforms include allowing private sector participation and the breakup of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria into several companies to ensure efficiency in power generation, transmission and distribution and the setting up of the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission.

The taskforce is to be chaired by the special adviser to the president on power while some of its other members are the group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp, PHCN managing director and the managing director of the Niger Delta Power Holding Co.