Minister of Power, Works and Hosuing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, has debunked allegations in some quarters that the Nigerian Distribution Companies were yet to make any significant investment overtime in the Power Sector, stating that the DisCos have been faced with several challenges as some may lack both technical and financial capacities to foster the sector.
In his attempt to clarify further, the Minister noted that the United States, through its Power Africa Initiative, granted support in the region of $9 million for technical advisory capacity to the same DisCos as a means of building efficiency in the sector.
This was according to a statement issued recently by Special Adviser on Communications to the Minister, Mr. Hakeem Bello, where Fashola said, “it is one thing to condemn all the DisCos, but to say shut down the business, where is that taking us?
“It is possible that some of them do not have the technical and financial capacities, but there were institutions here when those decisions were being taken to privatise the sector, I wasn’t here, but I have decided to stop clinging to the past and move on, how can we help those who are weak, how can we support those who have technical deficiency?” he said.
While addressing talks on regulations, Fashola said “we are moving from a period where there was no Nigerian Electricity Regulation Company, NERC, and therefore, the Ministry was the be all and end all to the period where we have to create a private regulator.
“I come from a view that you don’t sanction people unless you have given them all the tools to work. Governments, ministries, departments and agencies owe these people, there are also debts; tariffs were set on assumed level of power supply, government has not delivered on that power supply, so the fundamental assumption of performance is also not there,” he stated.
Speaking on power shortage, Fasola said the government cannot deliver, partly because the pipeline supplying fuel for power is often punctured, leaving them with no moral right to sanction the companies.
He said that government can only insist on performance, which is why he demanded the companies to submit their audited accounts for the last 3 years, adding that some have done so while others are yet to submit.
Fashola later revealed that, “We have started a ranking system, ranking safety, ranking performance, and ranking collection to create competition as a basis for sanctioning performance, so that the rules of the game are clear from the beginning,” he said.

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