The Federal Government has called on concerned parties in the power sector to remain committed to their various roles in supplying and distributing power, to ensure that the sector functions effectively.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who made the call, also warned that anyone who tries to sabotage government efforts in ensuring that citizens access reliable power supply will be dealt with accordingly.
The Minister gave the warning at the 14th Monthly Power Sector Operators’ Meeting, held at the National Control Centre in Osogbo, the Osun State capital.
He noted that the time has come for stakeholders in the sector, including the consumers to live up to the responsibilities of having steady power supply in Nigeria.
“After 60 years of electricity experience, nobody would believe that it is going to be ‘you work in the park, you make the change’. Mr President (Muhammadu Buhari) and the present government are determined to make the change, and it requires everybody to play their roles honestly, accountable and efficiently.
“Government is determined to enforce the law in the sector, including on itself; government is not above the law. The daily loses in the power sector are avoidable and they must be avoided. Every loss must be accounted for, or paid for whether by cash, by sanctions, or combination of both and law.
Burden Of Compliance
“This is a business and I have cause to say that in every business that is formally run, when loses occur, those who run the business pay for it either by losing their job, making refund or by resigning.
“We are heading in that direction, whether in the government or in the private sector. We will enforce every law and we will apportion it in every sector. We expect every stakeholders in the sector to work in accordance with the law.
“Let me say that the large part of the power sector is now in private hands. It is important to emphasise that the burden of compliance will shift to their side. Every complaint from customers must be addressed, you must be responsible to your customers, you must put yourself out there, you must show that you own the business and you are ready to serve.
“You have to be explaining to the public what the problems are, how long it will take and what to do. The consumers deserve the right to know what is happening, even when you are fixing the problem; it is comforting, inspiring and builds trust in service. I urge you to brace up.
“We all know the terms and conditions under which you acquire the business, you know what you contracted to do and what the consequences of failing to do it are. The regulators have stated it clearly that they have issued orders and placed emphases on compliance.
“If anyone is in doubt about the rights and obligations under the privatisation programme, I urge that person to seek proficient professional advice as soon as possible. We will enforce the contractual terms on the privatisation of the power sector,” Mr Fashola stated.
Energy Theft Is A Serious Offence
He also urged consumers to support the effort of the Federal Government in achieving stable power supply in the country.
“Consumers who demand service are also expected to change their ways, they must be prepared to pay for what they use. They must understand that energy theft is a serious offence and they will be punished. They must also stop assaulting the service providers.
“We have reports of consumers and customers going to vandalise assets and facilities of service providers, all of these must stop. They are matters of criminality and we will enforce the laws on them.
“Those who damage power assets are economic saboteurs and government will not relent in its commitment in using the law to checkmate that. Government will have no reservation at all in applying the whole sanctions. This why we are regulators and we will ensure service,” the Minister said.
On his part, the Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, acknowledged the improvement in power supply and commended the Federal Government’s move to address the challenges in the sector.