Fashola, Egbin disagree over government debt

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Babatunde Fashola, minister of power, works and housing, has disagreed with the management of Egbin power station over the amount owed it by the federal government.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Dallas Peavey, chief executive officer of Egbin Power Plant Plc, had said the government owed the company N125 billion and that about 700MW of electricity was wasted because of inadequate transmission infrastructure.

But speaking at the 19th monthly meeting of the power sector operators in Lagos on Monday, Fashola said Peavey made the comments despite his “admonishment” that the operators “act in a manner consistent with their leadership role”.

He said: “In my response, at the time, I believe I mentioned what government was doing about verifying MDA (ministry, departments and agencies) debts and how to deal with legacy debts, which we inherited. I also admonished all operators in the sector, to act in a manner consistent with their leadership role and the public expectation of all of us, to find solutions to problems, project hope, and not fear.”

Fashola accused Peavey of concocting a fictitious debt figure, insisting that the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) currently has the capacity to transmit 6,500 megawatts.

According to the minister, who is the former governor of Lagos, only N27 billion has been established as the debts owed to DisCos, as opposed the claims of about N90 billion.

However, he did not state the exact amount owed to the power station by the federal government.

The minister said Peavey’s comments had incited other generation companies to “refuse to comply with grid codes and regulations made pursuant to the Electric Sector Power Reform Act of 2005 prescribing frequency levels of operation for power generating companies”.

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