Nigeria losses N1b daily to energy crisis, spends N365b annually on diesel
Nigeria is losing N1billion naira daily due to energy outages in the power sector, and needs an investment of between 11 billion – 15 billion naira yearly between now and 2020 to meet targeted national energy demand of 40,000 megawatts.
Disclosing this during a Ministrial screening exercise in the Senate Chambers, this afternoon, Dr. Rilwan Olarewaju Babalola, a Ministerial nominee from Osun State said:
“About 1m litres of diesels are consumed in Nigeria daily by Electricity Generators that are powering most private and commercial premises. Since a litre of diesel cost N100, this simply means that the Nigerians are spending about N1billion daily or about N365billion annually on purchase of diesel to power generators”.
Babalola is one of the 21 persons recently nominated by Nigeria’s President Umaru Yar’Adua for Cabinet positions, and one of last two whose nominations were screened and confirmed today, by the Upper Legislative Chamber, constitionaly empowered to confirm all Presidential nominations to the Federal cabinet.
When asked to predict the time frame that Nigeria’s energy crisis will be solved, the Ministerial nominee said that there is no quick fix solutions to the problems of the sector, as a result of long term gestational nature of investments needed to turn around the sector:
“The energy sector has been in a serious situation for a long time. The situation is bad. I dont want to mention the word crisis. But It takes a long time to redress our energy problems, it takes a long time to build new capacity, to build new high voltage lines…and we cannot do this earlier than between five to ten years”
Ministerial nominee disagrees with President Yar’Adua on removal of immunity clause
In a related development, Chief Achike Udenwa, another Ministerial nominee, has faulted the position of President Umaru Yar’ Adua on the removal of immunity clauses in the constitution which presently shields sitting President, the Vice President and the 36 state Governors from being prosecuted for civil and criminal offences
Responding to a question during the senate screening exercise on the removal of immunity clauses,today, Chief Udenwa opposed the removal of the contentious clauses on the grounds that its removal will need filing of frivolous cases against serving Governors, and distract the State Executives from their duties.
“I will not advocate for the removal of the immunity clause. A Governor will become distracted from his office, if this clause is removed as he may be daily saddled with the task of appearing in Courts to defend one allegation or the other“, said Udenwa who was Imo state Governor between 1999-2007.
President Umaru Yar’ Adua last week advocated for the removal of the immunity clauses, to give fillip to Nigeria’s fight against corruption. Several past State Governors who were the in charge of various states between 1999 and 2007 are presently being prosecuted for graft activities by the Economic and Financial Crimes Agency, Nigeria’s most visible anti corruption agency.
But Chief Udenwa said because a number of his colleagues abused their privileges does not warrant the exclusion of the immunity clauses from the nation’s statue books:
“We should not say because some Governors abused this provision, used this as a basis for the removal of the immunity clause. We should retain the immunity clause, otherwise some politicians will go to court frivolously in order to distract a sitting Governor. I will, however, support limiting the immunity to civil cases”