The Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has promised Nigerians positive surprises in the efforts being made by the federal government to ensure stable power supply in the country.
He said the ministry had enunciated a couple of policies and actions under the power sector recovery programme which is part of the implementation of the economic recovery and growth plan of the government targeted at stabilising the economy.
Fashola, who briefed the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and members of the party’s National Working, Committee (NWC) as apart of the midterm performance assessment, told journalists that despite the challenges posed by gas supply, the country was already witnessing incremental power supply.
He said as at yesterday, power generation capacity had peaked at 4000MW, with more increases being expected in the days ahead.
“We are already having incremental power and in spite of the setback, we have had with the gas supply, as at yesterday average power generation was over 4000MW.”
Fashola who said he was at the party national secretariat to take his turn in presenting the progress chat to the party leadership, urged Nigerians not to lose hope yet as some of policies already put in place are bound to meeting their expectations.
“We are going to see that we get to those milestones of progress. There are milestones even though the time is not yet finished.
But this is halftime, as you know in football even at halftime when it is draw, there is alway a room for surprising results and Nigerians should expect surprises at the end of this mandate that they have given us.
“I will say that l am concerned that the need to produce stable power in order to serve the people and grow the economy, l will say that l am concerned but it is not my nature to panic because there is a plan and l have told you about power sector recovery programme.
“You see I am a person driven by methods, so is this government; so is this party. We are a party of methods and l think that Nigerians would benefit more from the implementation of our plans because they have taken time to be put together and they are well thought out.
“I am optimistic that the story can only get better, and as you access our performance, continue to access it within the contest of what is clear sabotage and damaged to pipelines and if you continue to puncture the fuel tank in your car, don’t expect that the car would run for a long distance,” he stated.
On the promise made by the party about interrupted power supply, Fahola said: “That is still behind what we achieved last year, but when we relate this period last year to now where we’re at about 2000MW and we still have not restored all of the damage in the gas lines’ confidence is coming back to the sector and the institutions are being reconstituted such as NERC, Rural Electrification Agency and there will be more as we go on.
“Government has also enunciated a couple of policies and actions in the power sector recovery programme which are part of the implementation of the economic recovery and growth plan of the government. So there is a lot to hope for, the power sector story and indeed the whole economy is a journey and not an event.
On the problem being encountered by electricity consumers over estimated billing and inadequate supply of electricity metre, the minster said the issue is being addressed, adding that a lot needed to be done by the companies to connect most of consumers with metering facility.
“We have metered some consumers; while many have not metered at all. And I think we should be careful as we choose our language. There is a lot of distance they still need to cover and there’s room to improve. We are not pleased with the number of people who are yet to be metered. We are still not pleased that people are receiving estimated bills. And we think that discos can do more.
“Yes, it is our responsibility to fix it but there is also a sense of ownership in ensuring that all of us are in a common country; the same place that everybody would benefit, no matter how aggrieved you are, if there is more power,” he said