Impasse: Fashola Replies DisCos’ Group, Says Directive is To Solve Power Issues

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The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola on Friday responded to reactions from the 11 Distribution Companies (DisCos) through their group – the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) after he said they are under performing.

Fashola in a statement insisted that the directive he recently issued to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) was for good cause.

He said: “My directives seek to rectify these problems because I believe they can be rectified.”

 The minister noted that ANED was not a licensee in the power sector and that he has never invited them to the monthly power sector meeting which he has presided over for 28 times.

Fashola who called the group and its spokesman, Mr Sunday Oduntan an interloper he acted under the guide of the provisions of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA) 2005.

 He said: “The BPE, NBET and NERC, to whom my directives were made, contracted individually with DisCos not as an association.”

While dismissing claims of untrue power generation and distribution figure he gave, the minister simply said: “The taste of the pudding lies with those who eat it. Electricity consumers know what their experience was in 2015, 2016, 2017 and today.”

 Fashola insisted that the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) wants its money, about N800 billion, so she can pay the GenCos.

If DisCos can prove that FGN owes more than what we admit, they should deduct N72bn (Federal MDAs verified bill) from N800bn and pay the remaining N728bn which they owe NBET,” Fashola challenged the DisCos.

He also said the ministry had queried DisCos as to why 408 feeders that could deliver 5,756 megawatts (MW) of electricity “only carry 444MW because of faulty lines, bad equipment and load shedding?

 “Oduntan should interpret this and tell the public whether it is the Ministry who should fix these lines and whether the unused energy will not reach the consumers if the feeders are put to use,” he said.

The impasse between the minister and the DisCos began after accused them of poor performance and directed NERC on stricter actions. The DisCos however said wrong policies, tariff and politics were responsible for the poorly performing power sector.

SOURCE: DAILY TRUST

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