The Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi 2, has restated his opinion that the position of power minister in Nigeria has no weight. According to him, virtually all arms of the electricity value chain had been taken away from the control of the minister, leaving the occupant of the office with nothing to control.

The Emir stated this during a stakeholder’s workshop on Road Transport Management and Mass Transit Operations in Nigeria, organized by the Federal Ministry of Transportation in Abuja.

He said, ” Very often in this country, we do not give as much focus as we should to the organic link between the objectives, our strategies, processes, procedures and our results. One example I’ve always given is the power sector in Nigeria. I used to ask this question that, ‘please, what really is the power minister responsible for?’ and it sounds like a silly question. But the truth is, I don’t know about now, but as of the time I was in government, could anyone legitimately hold the power minister responsible for delivering power? The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) privatized the PHCN (Power Holding Company of Nigeria); The Ministry of Petroleum Resources is responsible for gas; Regulation and Pricing is done by the NERC (Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission), which is an independent body.

The power minister cannot boast that I will deliver 1,000 megawatts, because he can actually build a gas-powered turbine and not have the gas. This is because the gas is under the control of a different ministry. Also for hydro, the dams belong to the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and the sites around the dams belong to the state governments. The point I’m making is that one of the reasons why we’ve not made much improvement on power is due to a lack of coordinating mechanisms.”

Maureen Nzeogu
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