The Former Lagos State governor and the current Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has advised electricity consumers to direct their complaints about lack of power supply to the private investors of the Distribution Companies instead of the ministry.
Fashola gave the admonishment in a dialogue at Abuja on Wednesday night, stressing that upon the privatization of the power firms, it automatically became the responsibility of the investors to supply electricity.
“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.He said
“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.”
The minister furthered that those that have taken electricity issue as a weapon should face the investors since the 2005 Act has made it the responsibility of the investors.
The former Governor made it clear that his responsibility is to regulate and oversight, stressing “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.”
Fashola insisted on his comment after another participant at the dialogue insisted that the minister supervises the ministry and that the Gencos and Discos were players under the ministry.
He said: “I think that NERC (Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission) is the referee of the game. I am FIFA (Federation of International Football Association). And it is not right as you said that FIFA gets involved, because whether the referee makes a mistake or not the goal stands.
“So the FIFA man does not enter the field to say go and change the result, but it’s an interesting analogy that I’ve also contemplated in my head and that’s why you didn’t catch me by too much surprise. However, it is important to allow the referee to continue to decide the game because investors like to know who decides.”