This is the official blog of the Nigeria-based Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a human rights organization which promotes, protects and projects the rights of Muslims. This group condemns terrorism and all acts of violence. Its motto is 'Dialogue, Not Violence'
Thursday, March 3, 2016
SHARP FALL IN POWER OUTPUT: WE SMELL A RAT
3rd March 2016,
SHARP FALL IN POWER OUTPUT: WE SMELL A RAT
Nigerians have been experiencing epileptic power
supply for some days now. Explaining the cassu
belli, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) blamed
vandals. The agency announced yesterday that power supply through the national
grid which peaked to 5000 megawatts in the past two weeks recently dropped
below 2,800 megawatts due to vandalism.
The Muslim Rights
Concern (MURIC) is greatly perturbed by this ugly development. It is very sad,
bewildering and frustrating. But we will not allow them to intimidate us into
submission. Aluta continua.
Poor power supply has been the bane of the Nigerian
economy for more than three decades. The implication of this prolonged
non-performance is that successive administrations have been long in quest for
power but short in service delivery. Apart from corruption, there have always
been wide gaps between planning, political will, transparency, implementation,
maintenance and sustenance.
This is where we want the Federal Government (FG) to
turn its floodlight. Nigerians have seen government’s plan for reform in the power
sector. It looks credible and it is already being implemented. Presently there
is iron-studded political will as manifested in the pedigree of President
Muhammadu Buhari (PMB). Transparency is the middle name of the Buhari
administration. But we must not get stuck when it gets to maintenance and
NERC has blamed the current drop on vandalism. The
vandals are not ghosts. It simply means that something is wrong with the
security arrangements. It is like chasing the shadows if we expect communities
to protect installations. People must sleep in their homes and vandals will
naturally strike when it gets dark and people are resting.
security arrangement must therefore be made for power facilities. Apart from
the police and the army, NERC can create a security unit to watch its
installations throughout the country. This unit can be made up of citizens from
the local communities employed for that purpose.
MURIC is however
looking beyond the story of vandals. We smell a rat.PMB must take
his microscopes and go back into the presidential laboratory to re-examine both
the nature and structure of Distribution Companies (DISCOS).
electricity become so constant and so steady in the first, second and third
months of Buhari’s emergence as president? Was it not because those in charge
were not sure of the actions PMB might take if they played pranks with
The civilian coup in the Nigerian legislature which
was calculated to slow down PMB emboldened the suppliers of electricity or,
better still, producers of darkness to the extent that they fell back on plan
‘B’. These agents of darkness may not want PMB to succeed and like those chief
executives appointed by former President Jonathan in the twilight of his
administration, they may be actively sabotaging his administration.
We remind Nigerians how MURIC raised an alarm when
Jonathan started appointing people irrationally even when it was a few days to
go. We saw the trap. Jonathan was laying land mines and actively engaging in
forward-looking political sabotage.
We advised PMB at the time to ensure that all those
so appointed should be summarily sacked as soon as he settled down. We
suspected very strongly at the time that the only purpose for such appointments
could only be the creation of clogs in the wheel of progress for the next
administration. We saw it as callous, selfish and patriotic.
PMB should be commended for retaining them for so
long for whatever reason, perhaps out of compassion. He just started sacking
them two weeks ago. But he has not touched the producers of darkness. MURIC is
hereby insisting that ‘Ghana must go!’ Let there be light!
Fashola must take a second look at the satanic and
deceitful statistics presented to him by these agents of darkness planted by
Jonathan and separate the wheat from the chaff.
Enough is enough. Is it not time for electricity firms
to publish a realistic schedule for the deployment of meters? Nigerians are being blindfolded and made to pay crazy
bills through their noses. They don’t see what they pay for. It is sheer
infringement of Allah-given fundamental rights of consumers. Tariffs have hit
the roof but supply has not only nose-dived, it has hit the ground and still
No country can attain technological breakthrough without
steady electricity. Poor power supply encumbers economic growth, retards
industrial progress and beclouds all forms of academic activity both on the
part of the students, researchers and teachers.
Lack of electricity is also a potent threat to lives and
properties. Three people were roasted alive in Lagos two days ago when their
fuel-laden bus burst into flames. Buildings get burned when fuel is stored
inside but who is to blame? Why do we have to store fuel in our homes if there
is constant electricity?
The citizens’ welfare depends largely on availability of
constant power supply. Nigerians are not so happy today because they are made
to face heat in the night as fuel shortage coincided with a near total
blackout. Fuel is currently selling between N130 and N200.
In conclusion, FG
must go back to the drawing board to evolve a foolproof security system for
power installations and to fish out saboteurs among the DISCOS. Consumers must
have access to meters without tears. Crazy bills must stop.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)