The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said the federal government through verification could only establish N27 billion from the claims of over N90bn submitted by Distribution Companies (DisCos) as Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) electricity debts.
Fashola who spoke at the on-going 19th power sector meeting in Surulere, Lagos was reacting to reports about the huge debts being owed Egbin power plant.
Blaming the Managing Director of the privatised plant, Dallas Monroe Peavey, the minister said the resolution of debts were priority for his administration. Speaking about the MDAs debts owed before 2017, Fashola said, “He did not also tell them that MDA debts owed to Discos had been verified and instead of claims in excess of N90 billion submitted as owed by the Federal Government, only about N27bn has been established by verification.
“He did not tell his visitors that resolutions of debts are topical views of our agenda at these monthly meetings,” he noted.
Fashola also said Peavey’s utterances were unfair as his claims did not address the Ministry of Finance’s announcement of a programme to issue promissory notes for inherited debts subject to Parliamentary approval.
The minister said Mr Peavey acted contrary to national interest hinting that he has been traveling often and came in on August 17, 2017 ‘without a record of visa issuance on arrival’.
“I have directed that his matter be referred to the Immigration department for advice on his legal status vis-à-vis a valid visa and work permit. I expect that appropriate action will be taken,” Fashola declared.
The minister lauded the Mini Grid regulation recently launched by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) saying it was bearing result of registration and licensing.
He urged stakeholders to co-operate with NERC to fast-track completion of the regulations for metering service providers and eligible customers to help distribute over 6,000 megawatts (mw) electricity now constrained to 4,000mw by distribution issues.