July 20, 2018

Power crisis: Fashola slams ANED spokesman

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola

…Says you an interloper

…If not tell your ANED to pay N800 billion NBET’s debt

By Chris Ochayi

The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has descended heavily on the management of Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors, ANED, describing it interloper,

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola

ANED is the umbrella body of Electricity Distribution Companies, DISCOs, which of recently involved in bickering with Fashola over the minister’s rating them non-performers.

Fashola, who particularly took a swipe at the Executive Director of Research and Spokesperson of ANED, Mr. Sunday Oduntan, in a statement he personally signed in Abuja, challenged Oduntan’s ANED to pay, without further delay the N800 billion it owes Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company, NBET.

He said, “Electricity consumers, which include Fashola, want better service; NBET wants its money; about N800 billion, so she can pay GENCOs.”

“If DISCOs can prove that FGN owes more than what we admit, they should deduct, N72 billion, from N800 billion and pay the remaining N728 billion which they owe NBET.”

Apparently reacting to recent statement attributed to ANED calling the minister names, Fashola said, “Before fiction becomes fact for lack of a response, I feel obliged to respond to SOME, NOT ALL of the allegations credited to one Mr. Sunday Oduntan who presents himself as Executive Director, Research and Advocacy of the Association of Electricity Distributors, ANED, which he made in response to my directives to NERC (the regulator) and BPE/NBET as contracting parties to the DISCOs.

“Throughout my Press Statement which contained the directives, I referred copiously to the provisions of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, EPSRA, which is the law that regulates the power sector. I referred to DISCOs in their capacities as licensees.

“Mr. Oduntan should tell members of the public if ANED is a licensee. He should tell the public whether he is an investor in a DISCO and in which DISCO he has invested and what he invested.

“He should tell members of the public that I walked him out of our monthly meeting because he has no capacity to attend and he was not invited.If ANED is not a licensee, who is ANED ? An NGO? If so, they should listen to consumers because Nothing is Going On about poor service.

“The BPE, NBET and NERC, to whom my directives were made, contracted individually with DISCOs not as an association. Any right thinking and well-meaning person knows that power supply has economic consequences and has  political relevance.

“However to suggest therefore that my directives were political, turns reality on its head; because for the past 20 months, in all my public briefings at monthly meetings with the DISCOs, these same issues of service delivery of meters, estimated billings, investment in distribution equipment by DISCOs have dominated my remarks.

“However, assuming this was not so, do the onset of elections preclude the quest for better service or continued Governance? If Mr. Oduntan represents the DisCos who, for reasons best known to them, choose not to act to save their investments, that is a matter of choice for them.

“I do not recognize him because the law that guides my functions does not recognize him. His statement that no directives from me will save the power sector from collapse, is consistent with the views of someone who has no skin in the game.

“It is perhaps a Freudian revelation of the mindset of those he represents, whoever they may be.

“It is a sickening parallel of the Biblical story of the woman who tried to steal a baby before the great King Solomon, and asked them to divide the child.

“It is revealing of the mindset of a saboteur not a builder, and he would do very well to acquaint himself and advise his co-travellers about the consequences of sabotaging the economy under our Laws.