The plan by Nigeria’s President Umaru Yar’Adua to declare a power emergency this month to galvanise government’s efforts to improve the country’s worsening power situation may be delayed.
This is because the approval of the national assembly and the 36 state legislatures are needed before the federal government can deduct US$5.33 billion from the Excess Crude Account to finance the emergency plan.
”You can’t declare an emergency when you don’t have the ingredients for declaring the emergency in place,” said Governor Babangida Aliyu of central Niger State, after a meeting of the country’s state governors in the capital city of Abuja Thursday, under the aegis of the National Economic Council.
During his electioneering campaign last year, Yar’Adua had said he would declare a power emergency as soon as he is elected to make it possible for his administration to tackle the seemingly intractable power problem.
But the President has reneged on that promise, saying he needed to consult widely with key stakeholders before taking action.
With a power generation of less than 3,000 mega watts, Africa’s most populous nation of 140 million people has been unable to meet its power needs, forcing homes and businesses to rely on electricity generators.