The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has faulted the recent statement by the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Egbin Power Plc, Mr. Dallas Peavey Jr, that the country’s power woes may worsen in the days.
Peavey Jr had said the nation may experience total blackout due to liquidity and gas supply issues, threatening that owners of the plant might be forced to consider shutting it down if the challenges remained unresolved.
However, Fashola described the statement as “inflammatory and insensitive to Nigeria’s national security.”
The minister made this known at the opening ceremony of the Power Nigeria Agenda 2016, yesterday in Lagos.
Dispelling the remarks, Fashola said: “The statement is inflammatory and it was insensitive to our national security.”
Speaking further, he said: “If the commentator was not introspective, he would mention that the debts were not incurred by this administration, and that debt and settlement are continuous events in the power value chain, bills are served, claims are made, they are verified and settled.
“Also, he would have spoken about approval and payment that have been made this year. It is a continuous verification for claims and settlement of debts.
“All of the debts that are owed and legitimately contracted, verified will be paid. There is a clear policy decision in that area, but it requires all operators, those who claim and those who have to pay to operate in a transparent manner. We will not pay debt that are not properly verified and accounted for.”
He, however, refuted claims that the grid was very fragile and cannot support 1300MW not to talk of 5000MW.
He said the grid currently had the capacity to support 5300MW which is expanding on a daily basis.
“We are synchronizing with the Generating Companies and the Distribution Companies (DISCOs) in order to ensure the service end that connects both, which is the Transmission Company of Nigeria is able to respond adequately on demand.
“These are some of the serious issues that we take up at our monthly power meeting. Our next meeting will hold in Sokoto,” the Minister said.
Just recently, the minister ordered electricity Distribution companies (Discos) to stop customers from buying transformers.