Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, yesterday vowed end the culture of l electricity debts owed power distribution companies by various MDAs before the end of 2016.
The minister made the vow while reacting to a question on the indebtedness by MDAs during a programme organised by the Kukah Centre in Abuja,
He stated that his ministry had met with the Ministry of Defence, the Debt Management Office and other key stakeholders on measures to clear the huge electricity debts by various MDAs to power firms.
Fashola said, “We are in the process of winding down those debts, I’m speaking with the Debt Management Office, for we met just two days ago and we are proposing options for winding down those inherited debts.
This is because I believe that as government, we must lead by example. We have met the Ministry of Defence through the minister of defence on the issue and hopefully before the end of the year we must have wind down those debts.”
Fashola, who earlier inaugurated the Building Energy Efficiency Guideline for Nigeria during a different programme in Abuja, stated that the government had commenced work on the country’s hydro power plants, adding that in future it would be impossible to hold the country to ransom as a result of vandalism.
He said, “We have seen from events that started around February 14 this year, repeated acts of vandalism of our gas pipelines that renders us clearly vulnerable to one source of fuel for our energy development. That has challenged us to develop options and alternatives like solar in particular, and of course, hydropower plants in more quantitative response. Therefore, we will be accelerating work on projects like Gurara Hydro Power Plant – phases 1 and 2, work has started on Zungeru Hydro Power Plant.
“And we will also be accelerating work on Mambila Power Plant which will give us the biggest single electrification source over a period of seven years that it is estimated to take to have it concluded.
So for us this is a journey of diversification, a journey of electricity security for Nigeria and it is a journey that would ensure that in future it will be impossible to hold this country to ransom by controlling any particular source of fuel for electricity.”
On plans to provide affordable houses, the minister stated that the Federal Government was looking at ensuring that citizens who earn up to N70,000 monthly, whether in the public or private sector, would be able to access the kind of homes to be developed across the country.
Fashola said, “We are developing a National Housing Design. We are going to target people with an income bracket of around N70, 000 monthly and it is not just for those in the public sector. People who earn around this income outside the public sector, like market women, small traders, etc, are to be able to access these houses.”

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