Babatunde Fashola, minister of power, works and housing, has reacted to claims by electricity distribution companies (DisCos) that he misled Nigerians on power generation capacity.
Sunday Oduntan, executive director, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), the umbrella body of DisCos, had said the federal government lied about an improvement in power generation.
In a statement on Friday, Fashola said Nigerians can testify to the upswing in electricity in the past few years.
The minister said he does not recognise Oduntan or ANED, adding that if DisCos connect with consumers, they would realise that service delivery is poor.
The statement read in part: “Before fiction becomes fact for lack of a response, I feel obliged to respond to some, not all of the allegations credited to one 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.
“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.
“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.
“I do not recognise him because the law that guides my functions does not recognise 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.
“As for the allegation that figures of power generation and distribution released by me are not true, the taste of the pudding lies with those who eat it. Electricity consumers know what their experience was in 2015, 2016, 2017 and today.
“If the DisCos connect with their consumers, they will hear from them first-hand, how traumatised they feel about load shedding, absence of meters and estimated billing.”