From: Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, on Monday, in Asaba, Delta State, disclosed that the Federal Government has so far recovered $64 million from neighboring countries of Niger and Benin Republic.u
The minister said the recovery was as a result of the commitment of the Federal Government towards ensuring that international customers debt profile on power is reduced in order to liquidate the challenge in the power sector.
Fashola, who made the disclosure at the 21st monthly power stakeholders meeting, said that the sector was able to hit 7,000 mega watts due to the stable peace in the gas producing area of Niger Delta region.
According to him, the peace had contributed immensely towards the steady production and supply of gas to power projects.
He said for the first time, in the history of power sector, hydro and gas combined together to improve electricity needs of the country.
“This is a fair balance and now that the waters are going down it is also the time for us to prove our mettle by stabilizing upward, the power being generated,” he said.
The minister appealed to lawmakers in the country to come up with legislation prohibiting encroachment on the right of way of power lines, vandalisation of electricity installations and another that will support collection of bills among others.
He enjoined consumers to avail themselves with the opportunities at customers fora to address their grievances rather than congesting the courts with litigations especially against distribution companies.
The minister further appealed to electricity consumers to pay their bills regularly without which DISCOs would find it difficult to provide services, adding that the greatest challenges facing consumers were estimated billings and insufficiency in mater which he said were being addressed by Nigeria Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC).
On Rural electricity agency aimed at improving power in core rural areas, the minister said guidelines have being completed while the Manbila Plateau electricity project which has being on the drawing board for over 40 years has being signed to commence activity.
Earlier, the minister commissioned the 2x15MVA injection substation in Asaba.