You guessed it- There were power cuts two times within the space of six minutes between 2.20pm and 2.26pm. A third outage occurred at 3.12pm on the second day of the ongoing Senate probe into alleged corruption in the power sector on Wednesday.
At a point, the chairman of the Senate committee handling the probe, Senator Abubakar Kyari, asked the chief executives of the power generating and distribution firms present at the venue, “Are you tired? Are you guys calling your people to do this?”
Moments after Kyari spoke, two subsequent power outages occurred at 3:26pm and 3:31pm.
The probe panel members were forced to receive presentations using lights from media cameras and rechargeable lamps.
In his presentation, the Director-General of the Bureau for Public Enterprises, Mr. Benjamin Dikki, told the committee he needed time to present the figures as to how much it cost to privatise Nigeria’s power plants.
He said he could not give the figures at the sitting because he did not know how much it cost to build the plants.
He spoke in a response to a question from a committee member, who asked the DG to “tell Nigerians how much the power plants were sold because during Tuesday’s hearing, the committee was told $USD 8.23bn was what was spent on these plants prior to the privatisation.’’
“I do not know how much the (power) plants were constructed. I will make available the documents later,” the BPE DG answered.
At the end of the day’s session, the chairman of the Senate panel told reporters that the committee would investigate the immediate and remote causes of the power outages, which disrupted the day’s session.
“The power outages experienced here today further underscores the relevance of this committee at this critical time but we shall investigate whether they are deliberate or not,” Kyari said.
He added that proper public hearing proper on the sector would hold in due course.