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Reversal of privatisation of power assets impossible, Fashola tells Senate

Against calls for the reversal of privatisation of power assets, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has said this is impossible.

‎He said it was not possible to reverse the sale as the exercise was just three years on and it needed time to mature.

Fashola stated this in Abuja when the Senate Committee on Power led by its chairman, Honourable Daniel Asuquo, paid an oversight visit to the Ministry in Abuja.

According to him, there had been issues bordering on the attainment of the privatisation goals one of which includes lack of maintenance of power assets which has led to non-optimal performance from three of the nation’s key hydro plants listed as Jebba, Kainji and Shiroro among others.

While expressing the government’s readiness to ensure incremental, stable and uninterrupted power supply to Nigerians, he said the three-phase roadmap embarked upon by the present administration in the sector was on course.

He said, “The government is conscious of the importance of transmission in the electricity value chain. Unfortunately, what was inherited was a weak line; hence government is poised on strengthening the wheeling capacity, so as to ensure that more power is transported.

“On assumption of duty, there were a number of lingering legal disputes that needed to be resolved mostly out of court. For instance, the disagreement between Enugu Electricity Distribution Company and Geometric Electric Company over Ariaria area of Abia State has been successfully tackled.

“Hence, it is expected that soon, additional 200MW of power would be made available to the national grid. Also, it is to the credit of this administration that all disputes that have stalled the realization of the Mambilla Hydro project for over three decades have been resolved. Soon work will commence on the 3,050MW project.”

He however, assured that “with the realisation of these critical projects, stability of the network would be guaranteed hence we would be able to sustain uninterrupted power supply.”