By Musa Adamu
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has raised alarm alleging that some Generation Companies (GenCos) are out to disrupt progress in power supply for political capital.
He however said these GenCos, which he did not mention their names, would be “scathingly, unkindly, and enduringly” judged by the court of public opinion.
Fashola spoke at the 25th monthly meeting of power sectors operators in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
He said he was aware that many clandestine meetings were being held with a view to disrupt supply for political capital.
He spoke against the background of reports that some Generation Companies (GenCos) (not Ibom Power) have gone to court to file claims against the government.
Emphasizing that it was their right and prerogative, he however cautioned that they should be mindful of the “court of public opinion” which “is a court of conscience and morality.”
He said the litigating GenCos must also disclose to both courts that they held a meeting with government and tabled their demands, which government promised to look into, one week before they went to court.
“They must, in good conscience, tell the two courts whether one week was enough time to go to court, and whether this action at the time when the sector is making progress does not suggest an intention to blackmail government and hold the citizens hostage.”
Fashola implored “those that are truly ready to run the business they have acquired voluntarily to continue to do so with the assurance of government support and partnership.
“As for those who entered the business without understanding it, please brace up for hard work and help us rebuild this country.
“Those who choose to hide temporarily in the courts of law, can do so; but the court of public opinion will scrutinize you and its verdict may be very scathing, unkind, and enduring.”
Speaking on the achievements recorded in the last one month in the industry, Fashola disclosed that approval for $486 Million World Bank funding for the TCN transmission expansion had been secured.
He also disclosed that progress was being made with the same Bank for the Rural Electrification and Distribution expansion funding.
He further disclosed TCN had completed some sub-station transmission expansion – including Uyo, Calabar, Keffi, Karu, Abeokuta, Nasarawa – to improve their capacity to supply power to the DisCos.
On the meter supply, he announced that NERC had concluded the regulations to provide the framework to license a new class of meter asset providers to complement the efforts of DisCos to supply meters to citizens.
“Government decision to pursue an out-of-court settlement on a meter contract awarded since 2003, which was held up in Court until 2017, has made available about N39 Billion to kick off this process.
“I am aware that Yola DisCo is already positioning to take up 400,000 meters once the contract and process formalities are concluded. I am told that Abuja, Ibadan, Kano, Ikeja and Benin DisCos are also embracing the initiative, which has reserved a 30% local content for the meters to be supplied under the Regulations.”