By Chris Ochayi
Owerri—Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Faahola, yesterday, cautioned power Distribution Companies, DISCOs, against interference in operations of investors in solar energy and independent power plants because they don’t have the monopoly of supplying electricity.
Fashola, who issued the warning at the 20th monthly power sector operators meeting in Owerri, the Imo State capital, pointed out that the Electric Power Sector Perform Act of 2005, EPSRA, did not contemplate monopoly to any licencees.
Besides, the minister noted that the immediate concerns of the government was that a solution be found quickly to the inability of DISCOs to take about 2000 MW of power that will imminently increase as power generation gets more incremental.
He said: “DISCOs have nothing to fear about solar. It is a space in which they are entitled to play but in which they cannot exclude others from playing.
“The ESPRA did not contemplate a monopoly for any licensee unless it is expressly stated in the license.
“As for channelling investment into Distribution assets through the DISCOs, Government has not yet taken a position on what the best way forward will be.
“However, government is clear that a solution must be found quickly to the inability of DisCos to take about 2000 MW of power that will imminently increase as we get more incremental power.
“But the point that must be made is for all of us to remember that government is a 40 per c ent shareholder of the DISCOs (on behalf of the federal, state, local governments and workers) and, therefore, has a self-benefitting interest in the well-being and efficiency of the DISCOs.”