I didn’t say that…….
Consumer News can authoritatively report that the former Governor of Lagos State and the 3 in 1 minister of housing, works and power, Babatunde Fashola, has denied claims that he once said the power problems in Nigeria can be fixed within six months.
According to Nigerian dailies, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, denied the claim at the Nextier Power Dialogue on Wednesday night in Abuja.
Fashola challenged participants at the dialogue and members of the public to produce any video evidence where he made such comment. He said;
“I have the video of what I said and where I said it and I think it was in 2014 in the run-off to the election and I was in Lekki, Lagos,”
He explained that the comment was made during the inauguration of the Lekki Independent Power Project when he was governor of Lagos State, adding that his statement had to do with the connection of residents of Lekki to the IPP within six months if the state government had received the approval to do so.
“You may disagree with me, but I challenge anybody who has an alternative set of facts. We have the video here and we can play what I said and you can listen to it. If you have a different version, bring it out. I challenge you!” the minister declared.
Fashola to consumers: Direct complaints to DisCos
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has advised electricity consumers to direct their complaints about lack of power supply to the private investors of the Distribution Companies instead of the ministry.
He gave the admonishment in a dialogue at Abuja on Wednesday night, stressing that upon the privatization of the power firms, it automatically became the responsibility of the investors to supply electricity.
His words: “There are problems without a doubt and we must deal with them. But let me remind you, all of the assets that the Ministry of Power used to control for power have been sold by the last administration before I came. And so if you don’t have power, it is not the government’s problem. Let us be honest.
“The people who are operating the power sector, generation and distribution are now privately owned companies. I am here because I am concerned. If your telephone is not working, it is not the minister of communication that you go to. Let us be very clear.”
He added that those that have taken electricity issue as a weapon should face the investors since the 2005 Act has made it the responsibility of the investors.
Fashola also said that his responsibility is to regulate and oversight, stressing “but I have a problem which is the fact that I can’t see a problem and turn my back, so I’m getting involved. So the people you should be talking to about transformers is not me, the ministry doesn’t supply transformers anymore.”
The minister insisted on his comment after another participant at the dialogue insisted that the minister supervises the ministry and that the Gencos and Discos were players under the ministry.
He said: “I think that NERC (Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission) is the referee of the game. I am FIFA (Federation of International Football Association). And it is not right as you said that FIFA gets involved, because whether the referee makes a mistake or not the goal stands.
“So the FIFA man does not enter the field to say go and change the result, but it’s an interesting analogy that I’ve also contemplated in my head and that’s why you didn’t catch me by too much surprise. However, it is important to allow the referee to continue to decide the game because investors like to know who decides.”