Power Crisis: Egbin MD’s Comment Not In National Interest – Minister
*Babatunde Fashola, Nigeria’s minister of Power, Works & Housing.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola has described the comment of the Managing Director and Cheif Executive Officer of Egbin Power Plant, Mr. Dallas Peavey on the imminent collapse of Nigeria’s power sector as not in the country’s interest.
Fashola who stated this on Tuesday at the ongoing 2016 Power Nigeria Conference in Lagos noted that Mr. Peavey’s comment on the power sector is not progressive and not in the national interest.
Mr. Peavey had earlier said Nigeria might experience total darkness if the government does not wade into the power sector crisis by paying its debt.
He explained that government agencies, police, and army barracks are owing power generation and distribution over N80 billion.
However, Fashola said Peavey’s comment is capable of discouraging investors.
“I must comment on the recent statement made by the Egbin MD. Such words are insensitive and not in the national interest because it is capable of sending investors away,”he said.
Fashola then assured investors of great opportunities in the Nigerian power sector noting that “I have had talks with investors who are willing to come into Nigeria. And I am particularly encouraged when I heard that about 200 investors from about 17 countries are here today.
“I will like to say here that Nigeria is a market that no rational investor can ignore. I am focused on delivering good and fast electricity and investors can be assured that their investments are protected so long as they play by the rules,”he said.
Commenting on the strength of the national grid, and the over N80 billion debt, Fashola said the grid is capable of supporting 5,300 megawatts adding that all debts will not be paid until government verifies who owes what and how the debts were accrued, stressing that the government will not pay “illegal debt”.