17 November 2015, Lagos – Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce, LCCI, Mr. Muda Yusuf commenting on Babatunde Fashola’s ministerial position, said the triple portfolio is too heavy for one minister.
He said: “Fashola’s portfolio is rather heavy, perhaps the heaviest of all. Given the strategic importance of the power and works ministries, it would perhaps have been better separated for effectiveness.
“The economy is groaning under huge infrastructure deficit of power and roads. The effect on productivity is profound. There is much more oversight responsibilities than operational ones. One is comforted by the fact that Fashola is very energetic and resourceful.
“He has the drive to achieve results. He also has a minister of state and two permanent secretaries to give him necessary support. It is perhaps a demonstration of the high confidence and expectation which President Buhari has in Fashola.”
Yusuf therefore urged the Minister of Power to address some issues in the sector, ranging from gas pricing, metering and billing systems in the country.
His words: “the key issues that need the urgent attention of Fashola are Gas Pricing; transmission issues; metering and billing; energy theft and indebtedness to the power providers; financial capacity of the operators to undertake the needed investment in the sector.”
On his part, the Interim President, Nigerian Electricity Consumers Advocacy Network, NECAN, Mr. Tomi Akingbogun, expressed optimism over the dual responsibility.
He said: “It is a big combination of very critical sectors of the economy requiring urgent and committed attention. We have confidence in Mr President’s ministerial choice for Power, Works & Housing, because Fashola is a performer, a goal getter and a grassroots person.
“We believe he will review the sale of the power companies to see if they are competent. As a lawyer, he will check if the rule of law was adhered to and correct where necessary; he will look into whether the power companies have added value since they came on board.”