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Friday, 11 November 2016

Federal Government Will Not Revoke The Privatisation Of Power Sector-Fashola



The Federal Government will not revoke the privatisation of power sector, Minister for Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola (SAN) said yesterday.

Fashola said his ministry would remain committed to the terms of power generation and distribution contracts it inherited, noting that government would only listen to people calling for revisit if the aim was to open up opportunities for more investment in Generation Companies (GENCOs) and Distribution Companies (DISCOs).


The minister spoke yesterday at the Fifth European Union (EU)-Nigeria Business Forum at Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The two-day event with the theme: “Harnessing Nigeria’s Potential for Economic Growth”, was attended by local and international power investors and industry players.

He said: “I have discussions about revisiting the privatisation of power. Honestly, I don’t know what it means. I like those who are pushing the argument to come out and have discussion with us.

“If revisiting the agreement means cancelling it, I won’t support. The investors who took the risk must have the assurance that government will not flip-flop.

“A contract that fails has consequences not only for the investors, but on both sides. I don’t believe in revoking contracts. Like politicians meet at nights, investors also meet themselves and talk every day. Once they see the government cancels contract signed with one of them, they will call on others to pack their bags and leave.

“This government will respect and uphold the contracts it has committed to and inherited. If there are issues with the contracts, the umpire is the judiciary.”

Fashola emphasised the need for increasing investment in infrastructure, noting that improved infrastructure is a globally-tested parametre to drive growth.

He said the seven per cent growth rates Nigeria recorded in the last seven years were driven by high oil prices.

He noted that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s development plan is focused on increased investment in power, roads, schools, agriculture and housing.

The minister acknowledged the role EU played in the drive to improve Nigeria’s power infrastructure, assuring the investors of government’s commitment to maintain stable investment weather and policy guideline that would benefit parties to power privatisation.

Fashola called on investors to partner the Federal Government in rural electrification project, saying rural communities must be connected to the national grid, if the initiative to drive an all-inclusive growth must be meaningful.

Head of the EU Delegation to Nigeria and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Ambassador Michael Arrion said the forum was established in five years ago to help Nigeria overcome its challenges.

He said EU bilateral investments in Nigeria had targeted agriculture, power and other key infrastructure.

He added that the EU remained committed to helping to tackle the recession affecting the country by increasing its investments and partnership.


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