Lack of planning, bad management bane of outage, says Egba monarch

Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo

Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo

Urges IBDEC to improve power supply
The Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, yesterday ascribed lack of planning and bad management as factors responsible for the continuous darkness in the country.

Oba Gbadebo lamented that for the past 10 years the power was “going down, equipment were collapsing”, insisting that the power sector could not get better unless something “drastic” was done.

The monarch, who spoke yesterday when the Chairman and the Board of Directors of the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBDEC), Dr. Olatunde Ayeni paid him a courtesy visit at his Ake Palace, Abeokuta, charged the management of the company to do everything possible to improve power supply in the country.

Oba Gbadebo, however, said that the myriad of problems confronting the company was temporary, which in his view, would soon be resolved.

He stated: “You (Ayeni) have mentioned all the problems involved and they are enormous, we know that for 10 years in NEPA somebody sat at the top of the affairs and there was no planning for the future at all and we are suffering for it today. In the past 10 years, the power was going down, equipment were collapsing and we can’t have revolution unless something drastic is done.”

The monarch, who was of the view that the Federal Government should totally privatise the power sector to allow more private investors who would be willing to turn the fortune of the sector around for good, and also called on the government to do the same for the oil and gas sector, saying: “I am happy that the government has taken that bold step of involving the private sector. We tried to do it even with the refineries, I think it was done almost at the end of the last government but people felt it was not tidy and so the first thing the people did was to shout that the thing should be reversed and of course we know that refineries run by government will never perform optimally.”

The monarch urged the IBDEC boss to look into the few administrative errors here and there and improve power supply, saying: “I’m not going into technical details but I believe that with the little efforts, things will soon be okay and please help us sort out a few power problems in Abeokuta and I know you can do it.”

Earlier in his speech, the IBDEC chairman attributed the lingering erratic power supply in the country to vandalisation of power installations, “power theft and refusal of the people to pay their electricity bills as at when due.”

He said that government needs to totally hand over the control and transmission of power to the private sector, saying: “For the country to develop, business has to be left for the private sector while government presides on the area of policy and control, unfortunately it took government a very long time to do that. The government realised it very late that you have to allow the private sector to drive the business.”

The IBDEC boss lamented that the industry was almost collapsed when it was sold to them, saying that government sold the company to them at an exorbitant price.

His words: “The transaction was structured 30-70 percent, we were to bring our 30 per cent and we were to borrow 70 per cent from banks. We told government then that the price at which they were selling it was too much, but they didn’t listen, so we were forced to pay huge price for the acquisition of the company.”

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