Privatisation of PHCN a fraud,electricity workers tell Buhari


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In apparent response to the statement made by the out-going minister of power, Professor Chinedu Nebo, on the need for the in-coming administration not to tamper with the   privatization of the power sector, electricity workers in the country have demanded a thorough review of the privatization of Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, alle-ging that the privatization   project  was fraught with irregularities.

The workers further alleged that the privatisation exercise had made electricity generation and consumption in the country ineffective.

The workers, under the aegis of National Union of Electricity Emplo-yees, NUEE, insisted that the payment   of over N200   billion to the private sector by the government after the privatization   exercise leaves much to be desired, and urged the incoming administration of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, rtd, to revisit the   exercise.

The executive members of the union, led by the General Secretary and factional President of Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Joe Ajaero, said   this in Abuja, while conducting select journalists round the site of abandoned 60 containers of 52KVA electricity transformers, at Kubwa, in Abuja.

Speaking on behalf of the NUEE executive members, Ajaero argued that if after many months, privatization of electricity in the country had failed to bring positive impact to electricity consumers, then, there  was the need for the Buhari-led presidency  to revisit the programme.

Comrade Ajaero said: “We want to say, as a union that the sham called privatization should be revisited. If privatization, as we were told, was to  bring us heaven-on-earth elderado, and it has not done that, why should we insist on it?.

“Of course, our position as NUEE, has been no to privatization, especially given that we are an underdeveloped economy. It is the function of the state to provide power.

“Even the   so called privatization, you   can see   that even   this   year   alone, between January   and now, they have even given the so   called private   sector over N200   billion. So, why fund them if you say the electricity is in the hands of the private sector? That brings you to the point of the fraud on who owns them.

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“Why would you sell your house to  somebody and you still give him money to maintain it? So, it’s a fraud.”

Emphasizing on the minister’s comment that privatization of PHCN must stay, Ajaero added: “We want Buhari to ask questions first  and foremost because it   is wrong for   a   an out-going minister to be setting agenda   for Buhari to reverse or not to reverse the privatization of PHCN.

“A minister who inherited about 4000 megawatts and is today, battling with just 2000 and something megawatts, doesn’t have   the moral   courage to advise incoming government   on what   to   do.

Ajaero stressed: “If he Buhari asks questions for some months, he will now know the direction to move.”

On the abandoned containers, Ajaero said he was alerted on the abandoned equipments by concerned citizens who got wind of the development.

“With these transformers hidden here,  you can now understand that while they were privatizing, certain properties were being hidden, “he alleged.