The Minster of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has said the Federal Government is not against state governments developing their own power projects to support development and supply of incremental power.
Fashola who spoke at a meeting of the National Council on Power (NACOP) in Jos, on Thursday 21st of Sept, 2017 said, “I heard statements to the effect that Federal Government should allow the states to develop their own power projects.
“The truth is that Federal government is not standing on the way of any state; the laws do not stand in the way of any state to develop power projects.
“Because as governor, we built seven power plants, government did not stop us; what we could not do is to do commercial distribution which the law actually allows under license through Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).”
While speaking during the meeting which had the theme of “Completing Power Sector Reforms”, the minister further enjoined the state governments to support the reform efforts of the Power Sector Recovery Programme (PSRC) which was already being implemtened at the Federal level.
Fashola said, “State authorities should ensure that their residents comply with safety standard on building by not building on the right of way of 332/ 133, 33 and 11KVA lines.
“States can also help by leading the advocacy for the residents to pay for the energy they fairly believe that they have consumed, while we continue to work to resolve the metering issues and estimated billing.
“States should lead the advocacy for people to stop bypassing meters and stealing energy; energy theft happens in the municipal levels, not in the senate, not in the villa or the house of reps.”
Also while addressing issues currently being witnessed in the wake of the privatisation of the power sector, Fashola said the companies were still in a transition period and as such degradation which had occurred over a period of 60 years could not be corrected within a short time span.
He said, “Some people had called for the cancellation of the privatisation; I will not support that, however, there are some challenges in the sector.
“Four years into post privatisation is a transition period and so, more work, therefore, needs to be done before the expected benefits can come to fruition.
“Four years is not enough to change what we could not do in 60 years and expect rapid result in four years this why we developed Power Sector Recovery Programme (PSRP) which is a set of policies, programmes and actions.”
These policies he said were created to resolve the problems of power generation, transmission, distribution, metering, estimated billing, liquidity, energy theft safety and other challenges.