13 February 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The Nigerian government has revealed that positive steps have been taken in recent times to resolve the country’s power crisis.
One of the steps according to the Minister of Power, Works, and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola was taken by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo when he visited the oil- rich Niger Delta communities to initiate dialogue and broker peace with them.
Fashola who stated this at the 12th Monthly Power Sector and Stakeholders meeting in Ibadan hosted by the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company on Monday said the idea behind Vice President visits is to bring Niger Delta communities to round table and persuade them to stop the vandalism of gas assets and pipelines while the issues they are agitating for are treated and resolved.
“You will see that the government has begun to act. The Vice President, representing the President, is going round those Niger Delta communities, engaging them more openly, more robustly. The idea is to bring them to the table to stop the vandalism while the issues that agitate them can be treated and resolved.
“I believe that if we are successful as we expect to be, we should be able to sometime this year recover all the 3,000MW that has been lost to gas pipeline outages,” Fashola said.
“Government is also taking some steps to ensure that solutions are provided this year so that results begin to reach where the people are. One of the steps that government has taken is to constitute the Regulatory Commission; the appointment of new Managing Director for TCN; and some progress made in resolving liquidity issues.
“I believe that within the last one month, some of the payments that were due to some of you (DISCOs and GENCOs) ought to have been remitted by Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading, NBET as they promised.
“If they haven’t been remitted, I assure you it is only a procedural delay. Given the approvals that have been given; you will get the money.
“But what is more important is that we have spent the last month holding top-level government meetings to identify the debts owed to the gas companies and the generation companies and in the shortest possible time that it will require us to do so.
“We intend to settle the outstanding liabilities and to provide a comfort assurance from the government that every month those who actually produce power will get paid. So, we will conclude that very soon,” the Minister said.