Power Sector Problems Can Be Solved – Fashola Declares

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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SAN FRANCISCO, March 15, (THEWILL) – Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has voiced his optimism that problems affecting the power sector can be solved if everyone understands how his action or inaction affects the system.

Fashola made the assertion as he chaired the third monthly meeting of key operators in the nation's power industry, which he initiated in furthering his determination to identify, discuss and find practical solutions to issues facing the Nigerian electricity supply industry, with two earlier editions taking place in Abuja and Lagos, respectively.

The minister, speaking during the meeting, and with journalists after the meeting, at the Ugwuaji Transmission Station, Enugu, reiterated his conviction that the problems affecting the sector were not insurmountable.

“My word to Nigerians is that this problem can be solved. It is a problem that has challenged us for a long time,” he said.

“Not only am I going around to understand what the problems are, I am at Ugwuaji now in Enugu State, I am going around to understand what I am supposed to manage. I have been briefed on paper, in files and in memos and I am going from power plant to power plant, from transmission site to transmission site. What I have seen convinces me that this problem can be solved.

“I am optimistic that it can be solved, it just needs for us as a people to understand the system better and how it works. I am going to dedicate some of my time to breaking down the technical issues that have sounded so complex over the decades, so that the average Nigerian can understand how the system works.”

Fashola added that actions taken by some groups or individuals often have grave consequences for the collective. “So if people break down pipelines, you know that you have weakened the system. No matter how angry you are a broken pipeline is going to affect you, because you won't have power.

“If people feel that the best way to secure employment for their colleagues in the union is to shut down a gas or power plant, the truth is that you are going to hurt more people than the people you intend to protect”, he added.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, the stakeholders resolved to increase their effort towards customer engagement through the launch of Customer Care Units for adequate resolution of power sector issues in line with the standards set up by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

Earlier at the opening of the meeting, Fashola had emphasized the importance of quality customer service in the Power Sector saying it was the only way to engender compliance with regards to bill payment among consumers of power nationwide.

The Central Bank of Nigeria also gave commitment to resume disbursement of CBN Nigerian Electricity Market Stabilization Facility (NEMSF) upon finalizing the structure and payment model with NERC and other stakeholders.

Story by David Oputah