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Friday, 14 July 2017 00:00

Power sector privatization was delivered with deceit and wrong expectations - Fashola

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Related imageWhile speaking on Thursday at the public lecture organised by the Department of Economics, University of Lagos, the Honourable Minster of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, revealed that the road map of the power sector in the country which seeks to first get incremental power, progress to stable power, and then achieve uninterrupted power cannot be achieved by the wave of a magic wand, but will require focused planning and execution to accomplish such feat. 


Fashola said, "We recognise that our power supply is not enough and what we have done is do the simplest thing, get more power. So our road map seeks to get, first incremental power, progress to stable power, and then achieve uninterrupted power. From this road map it must be clear to any right thinking and well meaning person that this is a journey and not an event that will happen overnight."

"As we progress on this journey, we will get to critical milestones from which we can look back and say we are now better off at that milestone, than when we started the journey. 
I understand the urgency of now, to get the power, I understand the high level of expectation."

The Minister went on to say even though he fully backed the privatization of the power sector, he believed the privatization process in 2013 was delivered with deception and wrong political expectations. 

Speaking on the privatisation of the power sector, he stated,"While I fully support privatisation, I believe what took place in 2013 in the heat of politics was a privatisation that was well intentioned since 2005 but delivered with some deception in 2013 with the expectation of political profit.  It led many uninformed Nigerians to believe that once the privatisation was concluded, the assets sold to the Distribution companies (DisCos) and the Generation companies (GenCos) there was immediately going to be power.

I cautioned then that people’s expectations were being unduly raised without telling them that there was a lot of work to do. 
While I believed that the APC government will do a better job, little did I expect that I would inherit the problem. But I am grateful for the opportunity from Mr. President, to contribute to solving a problem that I am deeply passionate about and I will offer nothing but my best while I am at it."

The minister stated that the impact of government’s interference in power regulation was huge, and claimed that power consumers in oil producing communities do not pay for electricity they consume.

“Government must also not interfere with the power of the regulator when it fixes tariff in the way the last administration ordered a reversal of tariff in order to win electoral votes in 2014.

“It created a massive debt for Nigeria, because while the government ordered a reversal of tariff, it did not reduce exchange rate, interest rate, cost of wages or cost of gas and other inputs necessary to produce power. Why should Nigeria carry a debt created by an individual’s electoral ambition? This is what the Buhari administration has to contend with,” he said.

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