The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has warned players in the power sector to discharge their responsibilities to the consumers as the government would not hesitate to impose sanctions on them when found wanting.
He said every service provider in the power sector must discharge its duties efficiently as no one should expect to have a change under this administration. The minister spoke yesterday at the opening session of the 14th monthly power sector operators’ meeting hosted by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) held at the National Control Centre, Osogbo, Osun State.
He said to have efficient power supply nationwide requires everybody to play his or her role honestly, accountably and efficiently. The minister said the government was verifying debts owed to power distribution companies (Discos) and had paid N374,551,00 owed Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) by the federal secretariat, Abuja.
According to him, the government would not pay debts, which were not properly verified, adding that some of the service providers had failed to furnish the government with the details of the debts owed.
“What this means is that government is determined to enforce the rules in the sector, including on its own self. Government is not above the law. “The daily losses in the power sector are avoidable and they must be avoided. Every loss must be accounted for or paid for. It may be by cash or by sanctions or combinations of both and more. This is a business and I have had cause to say that in any business that is properly run, when losses begin to occur, those who run the business either pay for them through loosing their jobs or resigning,” he stressed.
Fashola maintained that the power sector is heading towards that direction and those who are not ready to work according to rules should ship out of the sector, as government would not hesitate to impose any sanction that would bring about efficient supply of electricity to the people.
He, therefore, cautioned consumers to refrain from attacking service providers, energy theft and vandalisation of facilities as such actions amount to criminality, which the government will not allow to go unpunished.
Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Sanusi Garba, said that the commission was committed towards achieving cost reflective tariffs, financial sustainability, consistency in policy, compliance monitoring and enforcement in the power sector.
He warned investors in the power sector against running the business as family business devoid of good corporate governance, adding that they must ensure good revenue management.