Friday, 20 January 2017

Fashola in power blackout at the APC Secretariat, says no going back on sale of power assets.

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Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has foreclosed any possibility of reviewing the sale of power assets to private investors, saying that three years was enough to judge the capability of the new owners. 

Fashola, at a power dialogue organised by the Nextier Power, Wednesday night in Abuja, enjoined electricity consumers to cooperate with the power investors to improve on their services instead of calling on government to take over the privatised companies. 

The minister, however, said the Muhammadu Buhari administration was ready to assist investors to succeed and serve the nation well. Fashola, while appealing for understanding from the power consuming public in the face of current electricity challenge facing the country, warned of the huge legal implication should recent avalanche of calls for the power sector privatisation revocation be heeded to. 

On the tariff hike, the minister explained that as far as the economy was experiencing instability, so will electricity tariff continue to fluctuate. He said: “That tariff review was continuing in the power sector. It is either review upward or downward depending on the market trend. We are not immune from the decisions we make on electricity tariff because ourselves, family members or relations will be affected. 

“But some people have gone to court, doing all sorts of things to stop the last power tariff hike. How do you think people who invested their money will not want to recoup? 

Also it was an embarrassing experience, yesterday, in Abuja for the minister when he was welcome with power blackout on his maiden visit to the national secretariat of his ruling All Progressives Congress, APC. Fashola who arrived the secretariat just minutes before 2 p.m., did not enjoy power supply for the 30 minutes he stayed on the premises. 

It was observed that no sooner had the minister arrived that the power supply went off, only to be restored barely five minutes after his departure. While the closed-door meeting lasted, the party could not also power its generating plant as it was said to be in a state of disrepair. 

Power supply to the secretariat was recently cut off due to the inability of the party to offset its electricity bill of just a little over a million naira. The dilapidating secretariat structure was reconnected only after the party made a part payment of its electricity bill. 

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