The need to ensure efficiency and enhanced electricity generation and distribution informed the reform of the Nigerian power sector. Successive administrations made the power sector reform a central policy of governance. However, the reforms and unbundling of Power Holding Company of Nigeria generated a lot of interest across the nation in the face of heightened hope for better service delivery. In the light of this, this research therefore, examined Power Sector Reform and the management of Transition Challenges in Enugu Electricity Distribution Company. The specific questions of research were: Did the process of transition from Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) fail to enhance service delivery? and; Did the severance package resolve the dislocation disputes between PHCN and former staff in Enugu Electricity Zone?. Data for the study were generated from primary and secondary sources including interviews, textbooks, publications by NERC, federal government, World Bank, etc. Descriptive survey was adopted as the research design. The findings revealed that the transition from Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to Enugu Electricity
Distribution Company (EEDC) enhanced service delivery in the Enugu electricity zone. It also demonstrated that the payment of severance package to former PHCN staff in Enugu electricity zone led to the resolution of dislocation disputes between the federal government and former members of staff of PHCN. The research, therefore, recommends that transparency of the reform process to ensure the involvement of relevant stakeholders and build broad consensus through coordinated action.
1.1 Background of the Study
Regular power supply is one of the hallmarks of a developed economy. For the economy of any nation to grow, the country must invest heavily in all the sectors including social institutions, agriculture, healthcare, good network of roads, efficient transportation system, and reliable power sector as panacea to financial instability. The growth, prosperity and national security of any country are critically dependent upon the adequacy of its electricity supply industry. Indeed the link between electricity supply and economic development is such that the health of the industry is a matter of deep and personal concern to all citizens. Nigeria is no exception.
Electricity supply in Nigeria dates back to 1886 when two (2) small generating sets were installed to serve the then Colony of Lagos. By an Act of Parliament in 1951, the Electricity Corporation of Nigeria (ECN) was established, and in 1962, the Niger Dams Authority (NDA) was also established for the development of Hydro Electric Power. However, a merger of the two (2) was made in 1972 to form the National Electric power Authority (NEPA), which as a result of unbundling and the power reform process, was renamed Power holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in 2005.
Over the past two decades, the stalled expansion of Nigeria’s grid capacity, combined with the high cost of diesel and petrol generation, has crippled the growth of the country’s productive and commercial industries. It has stifled the creation of the jobs which are urgently needed in a country with a large and rapidly growing population; and the erratic and unpredictable nature of electricity supply has engendered a deep and bitter sense of frustration that is felt across the country as a whole and in its urban centres in particular. The power catastrophe is one of the prime brakes on the economic growth of Nigeria. The economy needs at least 10,000MW of electricity.
Nigeria has over the years witnessed a slow steady decline in the power sector which has led to a near complete failure of the system at the onset of the civilian regime in 1999. Every person living in Nigeria has one or two stories to tell about the unreliability of the Nigerian power sector, is it the housewife who looks on dejectedly as she sees the food she has painstakingly prepared turn bad due to inadequate power supply, or the students’ frustration and disappointment as they read overnight with candles in preparation for an examination, or the upheaval in the hospital as a result of the power failure during a surgical operation, or the incessant hum of generators that accompanies you everywhere you go to
mention just a few.
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