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States can build power plants – Fashola

The Minster of Power, Works, and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has once again restated the state governments position on the issue of states developing their own power projects.

Speaking at a meeting of the National Council on Power (NACOP) in Jos, the super minister 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, the 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).”

He urged the state governments to lead the way in advocating reform process in some areas in their states to further achieve incremental power programme of the Federal Government.

He went ahead and enunciated some of the areas to include:

“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.”

The minister also said that he was against calls for scrapping the privatisation saying that “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”.

Furthermore, he stated that “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.”

He also revealed that the N701 billion payment assurance guarantee fund was responsible for the increase in generation of up to 7,001 megawatts on September 12, while transmission recorded 6,700 megawatts and distribution up to 4, 600.

Source: NAN

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