Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Power reforms: Adopt liberalisation strategy in telecom – ATCON

The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has asked the Federal Government (FG) through the Ministry of Power led by Prof. Bath Nnaji to adopt the kind of liberalization strategy that akin to that of telecom sector about 10 years ago.

Making this call in Lagos, ATCON’s president, Mr. Titi Omo-Ettu said, his group condemned the current four-year strategy being put in place by Nnaji-led for the nation to have the kind of electricity power supply capable of facilitating economic growth across all sectors.

“ATCON has again deprecated the chosen path of power reforms and its mode of implementation on the grounds that it lacked focus, hinders investment and above all, may not serve the public interest,” he said.

ITRealms Online recalled that ATCON president while commenting recently on Internet access noted that Internet access is about providing it at broadband level because it is the total concept solution to the problem of reach, access and affordability.

“If well managed, we should be able to provide substantial broadband access to our citizens at a price they can pay. The greatest challenge is Public Electricity supply which incidentally does not seem to be getting a focused attention,” he asserted. The association expressed disappointment in the current reform in which managers of the power industry have adopted.

“The posturing of Minister of Power who is working a four year plan to assure steady public power is untrustworthy as it is devoid of quality strategy and thoughtfulness,” he said, stressing that a true liberalisation strategy in which licensees for power service delivery are permitted without any impediments and linkage to existing inefficient power management of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) system is what is required.

According to him, an attempt by Prof. Nnaji to work a minimum four year plan exposes short-sighted planning as he himself would have to break a longevity record if he stays in the post long enough to see such plans implemented to the letter. ATCON, therefore, advised the Federal Government and its agencies, especially Power Ministry to embark on stakeholder’s consultation to enable it arrive at a strategy that is worthy of the country, particularly understudying the aspect of the strategy explored in the telecom sector, which has proved a success in the last decade.

“We invite the country’s power sector managers and indeed all other sectors of the economy to deliberately embrace the workable aspects of the liberalisation strategy adopted in the telecommunications sector, while making sure that the mistakes of the telecom sector are not repeated,” he advised.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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