Disco: Dancing in darkness
Sir: Never has there been a time when Nigerians have been afflicted with so much darkness like in this unpalatable season of electricity Discos. The power supply has so diminished that most Nigerians have resolved to relying hundred percent on generators. Thus, the noise of generators pervades the streets of the Nation, creating unbearable deafening noise pollution. Today, the New Discos have continued to dance naked in the darkness of shame. For some time now, they have insisted that the only way they can guarantee the halt of dancing in darkness is to increase the tariffs. To me, the increase in tariffs is not the issue. The issue really is, what are you increasing tariffs for? For darkness? No man wants to buy what he has not seen. We can’t pay for what we have not seen. First show us what you’ve got and we pay for it.
The problem with power generation and supply in Nigeria is borne out of lack of sincerity of purpose and driven by corruption. Electricity generation is not rocket science: Most nations in the world have conquered the problem centuries ago; why can’t we learn from them? There is no need to reinvent the wheel. If we are finding it difficult to solve our power supply, why can’t we approach any of the developed countries to send us a foreign technical adviser on electricity generation and supply.
The solution to power supply may be difficult to obtain if the same old strategies of the Abacha, Obasanjo, Yaradua or Goodluck regimes are adapted. There must be a more robust and liberal approach to the issue like the states, local governments, private companies and communities being allowed to generate and supply to themselves and sell to licensed areas and pay tax to the Federal Government on the power they supply to others?
What people want to see is constant light; we are not bothered how it is generated whether by solar, thermal, hydro, diesel, nuclear, coal, firewood, etc. Just let there be light!
Babatunde Fashola as power minister must bring to bear his innovation in Lagos in the power sector. As he commissioned private companies to light up the high ways of Lagos, he should push for the sector to be completely liberalized allowing whoever can to generate and sell to specific licensed area.
• Egoh Jacobs,
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