02 June 2016, Abuja – The Federal Government on Thursday declared that it does not have the right to sanction power generation and distribution companies operating in Nigeria.
It specifically stated that it lacked the moral right to penalise the firms due to the fact that many government agencies were heavily indebted to the various companies.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who disclosed this in a statement issued by the spokesperson of the power ministry, Mr. Timothy Oyediji, in Abuja, argued that the government cannot act arbitrarily and stressed that it must follow due process else it would have to contend with multiple court cases.
Fashola, according to the statement, wondered how power distribution companies could be sanctioned when they were not given tools to work with.
He said government lacks the moral right to sanction the firms as many agencies of government were still owing large sums of money to the power entities as a result of many years of unpaid bills.
The minister went on to explain that the issue of tariff, contrary to insinuations, was not arrived at arbitrarily, as the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act 2005 provided for consultations with all stakeholders.
Fashola said the processes of determining tariffs were clearly outside the control of the Federal Government, stressing that the government was a minority shareholder since the liquidation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria.