JOS—The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, yesterday, warned Distribution Companies, DISCOs, to stop the blame game on infrastructure, and run the assets they inherited in line with their privatization. ADVERTISING Fashola, who spoke at the 15th edition of the monthly power sector operators meeting in Jos, Plateau State, said the assets were not forced on the DISCOs, since they knew what they acquired. Fashola He said: “You must do more to improve service, rather than complain about old infrastructure. I wish to remind you that nobody forced you to buy those assets and you knew what you were buying. “The N701.9 billion intervention fund is consistent with government’s policy and determination to enable businesses flourish, and it was intended to save the Gencos, the gas companies and their financiers who were providing service, from collapse.” Fashola condemned DISCOs’ media campaign against the government’s support at ensuring a vibrant power sector. “Your statement did not tell members of the public that these companies were not getting paid because you were not remitting all you should remit to NBET and the market operator, admittedly because of reasons that are partly and not partly your fault. “When I convened the first of these monthly meetings, it was entirely voluntary and nobody was under compulsion to attend. As I have done at almost every previous meeting, I will now ask you all again to vote whether we should continue the meeting. “If the outcome of the vote is to discontinue the meetings, this will be my valedictory statement to the meeting. Also, if the outcome of the vote is to continue the meetings, then I will demand that this meeting must remain the platform for ventilating and resolving issues relating to the sector without prejudice to other meetings that the regulator may convene. “I regret that I will not deal with an association because the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, acting for the National Council on Privatization, NCP, did not contract the asset sales and performance agreements with an association and neither did Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission grant you licenses as an association. “Government will continue to relate with you as such, through meetings such as this, or individually to ensure that you discharge your duties to consumers. “I am certain that NBET (the Bulk Trader) and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, your regulator, will communicate a similar position to you,” the minister said. Earlier in his opening remarks, Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman, Jos Electricity Distribution Company, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed, expressed satisfaction over the Minister’s ability to transform the power sector from its current crisis.
By Ediri Ejoor
For a better society