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Don’t blame FG for poor electricity – Fashola

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The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has told Nigerians to blame businessmen who operate the power sector for poor power supply in the country.

He argued that the federal government had already privatised the sector.

Fashola, who spoke Wednesday night at the December edition of Nextier Power Dialogue in Abuja, drew an allusion to the telecommunication sector when he said people do not hold the minister of telecommunication responsible for poor services.

He said: “If your telephone is not working, it is not the minister of communication that you go to. Let us be very clear.”

Referring to the situation in the power sector and the many outcries for improved power supply, the minister said: “For those of you who want to weaponise electricity, face the businessmen who have taken it up. Let us be honest. If your bank over-charges you interest, is it the minister of finance you go to?

“This is now a private business by Act of Parliament 2005,” Fashola maintained, recalling the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA) 2005 that laid the ground works for the power sector privatisation of 2013.

Despite saying his role has been restricted, the Daily Trust reports that under Fashola’s watch, his ministry started building the 240 megawatts (MW) Afam Fast Power since 2016, and is procuring a N72 billion distribution expansion project to enhance some Distribution Companies (DisCos).

This paper also report that the federal government retained 40 per cent stakes in the 10 DisCos and operates Yola DisCo since 2015 with the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPE) serving on the DisCos’ boards.

While some of the GenCos were concessioned and others sold off at higher stakes, the federal government could still wield control on them if it has a robust umpire in which case is the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

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