Fashola: It’s not govt’s problem if you don’t have power

Babatunde Fashola, minister of power, works and housing, says the federal government should not be blamed for the problems in the power sector.

According to PUNCH, Fashola made the remark at the Nextier Power Dialogue in Abuja on Wednesday.

The minister reportedly blamed the past administration for selling assets that would have been used to rehabilitate the sector, adding that the generating and distribution companies (GenCos and DisCos) are the ones now running the sector.

He, however, said he would not turn his back to the problem even though his role as minister is that of oversight.

“There are problems without a doubt and we must deal with them. But let me remind you, all of the assets that the ministry of power used to control for power have been sold by the last administration before I came. And so if you don’t have power, it is not the government’s problem. Let us be honest,” Fashola was quoted to have said.

“The people who are operating the power sector, generation and distribution are now privately owned companies. I am here because I am concerned. If your telephone is not working, it is not the minister of communication that you go to. Let us be very clear.

“So for those of you who want to weaponise electricity, face the businessmen who have taken it up. Let us be honest. If your bank over-charges you interest, is it the minister of finance you go to? So let’s be clear. This is now a private business by Act of parliament 2005.

“My role is regulatory, oversight and policy, but I have a problem which is the fact that I can’t see a problem and turn my back, so I’m getting involved. So the people you should be talking to about transformers is not me, the ministry doesn’t supply transformers anymore.”