Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, has told Nigerians that it is really not the federal government’s problem if power supply remains poor across the nation.
According to Punch newspaper, Fashola made the declaration at the Nextier Power Dialogue on the night of Wednesday, December 12, 2018.
Power supply remains poor across Nigeria and load shedding is commonplace. On November 9, the nation’s power plants generated a miserable 3,762.60MW, down from 3,913.60MW attained on November 8.
Total output stood at 3,903.50MW on Monday, November 12, according to data from the Nigeria Electricity System Operator.
Fashola reportedly told his listeners that since the power sector has been privatized, Nigerians should be channeling their outrage to the private investors who acquired power assets in the preceding dispensation. He added that his role as power minister is to fashion out policies and ensure that these policies are implemented.
‘If you don’t have power, that’s not the government’s problem’
“There are problems without a doubt and we must deal with them. But let me remind you, all of the assets that the Ministry of Power used to control for power have been sold by the last administration before I came. And so if you don’t have power, it is not the government’s problem. Let us be honest.
“The people who are operating the power sector, generation and distribution are now privately owned companies. I am here because I am concerned. If your telephone is not working, it is not the minister of communication that you go to. Let us be very clear”, Punch quotes Fashola as saying.
He added that; “So 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? So let’s be clear. This is now a private business by Act of parliament 2005.
“My role is regulatory, oversight and policy, but I have a problem which is the fact that I can’t see a problem and turn my back, so I’m getting involved. So the people you should be talking to about transformers is not me, the ministry doesn’t supply transformers anymore.”