Discos set agenda for Fashola



• Want TCN privatised, cost reflective tariff • Demand access to Sovereign Wealth Fund

IF the new Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, is to make any headway as he tackles the perennially weak public power supply in the country, then he must, among others, focus on privatising the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), electricity distribution companies (Discos) have said.

The Discos say the weakness of the grid and the power tussle within TCN, especially the alleged meddling by the Ministry of Power officials, had further dimmed the hope of a vibrant transmission network for the country.

These were among the issues canvassed by the Director of Research and Advocacy for the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), Sunday Olurotimi Oduntan, in an interview with The Guardian.
“The power sector expects Fashola to sort out the problem in TCN,” he said.

He also called attention to the need for the minister to lead the campaign for a cost reflective tariff and also for the Federal Government to allow the Discos access to funds from Sovereign Wealth Fund.

The funds, according to Oduntan, are necessary to enable the Discos step up action on massive procurement of meters and transformers, network renewals and expansion, and for other capital expenditure.
The Nigeria Sovereign Wealth Fund is considered the third-largest in sub-Saharan Africa, after Botswana’s $6.9 billion and Angola’s $5 billion

The fund was set up by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan to safeguard oil revenues for future generations, provide a buffer against external shocks and spur infrastructure development.

Meanwhile, a civil society organisation, the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly unbundle Power, Works and Housing ministry currently under Fashola and appoint more ministers for them.

Lead Director of CSJ, Eze Onyekpere, in a statement in Abuja yesterday, said the idea of merging portfolios for the sake of saving funds does not hold water.
He explained: “The annual basic salary of a minister under the Certain Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders (Amendment) Act No.1 of 2008 is N2,026,400.

Adding the allowances and perks of office will not bring the yearly emoluments of minister beyond N30m. Forty ministers at this level of emoluments will still be about N1.2 billion which will not be above the affordability limit for the country.
“All that is required is to ensure that these ministers stick to their legal and legitimate remuneration and do not dip their hands into the public treasury through abuse of office.”

On the new cabinet, Onyekpere said: “CSJ welcomes the inauguration of the Federal Executive Council while we draw attention to some pertinent issues and concerns arising from two key ministries, namely: Budget and National Planning and the new super Ministry of Power, Works, and Housing.
“By merging these three ministries, the Federal Government has created a super ministry that may make or mar the administration.
The absence of power and adequate energy facilities has been recognised as holding back Nigeria’s economic growth and development. The challenges in that sector are enormous and could take a full time minister and minister of state.”

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  • Papaosun

    Hello Bro Onyekpere, you wan be minister? Wait, not now. Let Bro Fasola complain that he cannot do it alone. Then we will bring up your name fro the k.i.v. file.

    • Emmanuel Maluba

      Thank you for this. Some people are so debased in their thinking that they eat and sleep hatred. Fashola has not even started work and this yepere guy is asking for this! I cant see a more funny character.

  • pretty16m

    Nigerians believe in our amiable former governor of lagos state BRF. He can do it and he will still do better

  • juliusonny

    If you want to move a mountain, it is imperative and compulsory to employ the right tools. You cannot move a mountain using a spoons, you have to use earth moving equipment, power shovels or the likes. Look at South Koreans; they have neither oil nor gas. We know where they are today. Look at Ghana our neighbor, they have regular power supply. Israel is a tiny country; we all know what they have achieved through planning, executing, hard working and seriousness. Half of Japan was destroyed; they stood up again and rebuilt their country. Mind you, they have neither oil nor gas. Unfortunately, most Nigerians have been mentally cheated by Mother Nature; you can guess what that results in. All these prosperous nations mentioned above started with simple things like determination to affect the life of their populace positively. Nigerian rulers, ministers, governors, politicians and administrators stash money away in foreign countries fueling the economy of those countries whilst Nigeria records growth of poverty year after year.
    I would like to outline some simple steps to turn the economy around and create thousands or perhaps million of jobs for the teeming youth in Nigeria. One, secure stable supply of electricity. Two, improve general infrastructure significantly, you know like ports, roads, airports and so on and so forth. Three, build a strong telecommunication system. Four, create a reliable ID-card system for everybody in Nigeria, with central database accessible to all business owners in order to protect credit from bad payers. Once you have this in place, re-orient banks on how to give out credits to every reliable citizen so people can purchase practically all through credit system thus stimulating production, therefore creating jobs and flow of money within the business and market systems. Five, good drinkable water all over the country. Six, education, health and housing for have-nots. And finally stop too much talk and fallacy and take advantage of the positive fluid and expectatios in the air now. Good luck Mr. President.

  • emmanuel kalu

    what rubbish are the disco talking about. yes we have transmission issues, however the major problem is metering and the regulator. We don’t have an effective regulators that would mandate this looting discos meter the nation. now they want more money from the saving for future generation. what did they do with all the money given to them by CBN?

  • Hardet

    The way out of this problems of power is to stop the corruptions. All the staff in that disco company are corrupted from top to the bottom.