The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, had come out to clear the air that his directive to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission is to rectify issues impeding electricity supply in the country, not to demonise the distribution DisCos.
Fashola said this in reaction to an assertion by Sunday Oduntan, the Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, Association of Electricity Distributors, in Abuja on Friday.
The minister said in a statement that his directive was to legal entities and not to an interloper.
He said it was untrue that Oduntan’s minded interpretation of his directive was an attempt to demonise the DisCos.
Mr. Sunday Odutan who felt that the statement by the Minister of Power, Housing and Works was a direct attack on himself rather than the discos ascertained his believe on the issue during a press conference by the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors today in Lagos State.
The executive director of the association said “it is very legitimate for people to come together to form an association and bring their issues to be resolved”.
He also clarified that ANED was formed by the 11 discos in the country and he only works for ANED, not as a licencee but as a member and stakeholder in the power sector.
In the opening speech of his address, the spokesperson for the disco said “on the 20th of July 2018, the Minister of Power, Babutunde Fashola released a statement where he attacked the person of Mr. Sunday Odutan personally, but we are gathered here today to look at the message and not the messenger, so I would be addressing the message by the honorable minister and not the minister himself”
Mr. Odutan recounted the ordeal of his been walked out of the 8th Sectorial Meeting which held in Sokoto and he revealed that he had been in attendance of all the other 7 Sectorial meeting before his been walked out in the Sokoto sectorial meeting.
“We implore politicians not to drag ANED into the murky Nigerian political waters. We should not be playing politics with power. We should look and build the power sector as a stand alone entity to grow the Nigerian economy and in doing that, we should not personalize matters”
“We at ANED have been invited to sectorial meetings, we have been invited to 8 sectorial meetings and we have pictures as evidence of that. The one which we were thrown out of the sectorial meeting in Sokoto was the 8th.”
“We were thrown out of the meeting because we put up an advert in the newspapers urging the government to pay the MDAs (Ministries, Departments and Agencies) debt. I remember on the day the advert was published, it was the Perm. Sec. who took the newspaper to the Minister and after he looked at it, he said we were embarrassing the government and he asked us to leave.”
“So you can imagine the truth behind the story that I was asked to leave the meeting not because I wasn’t a licencee but because we asked the debtor to pay the creditor” Mr Odutan further revealed.
During the course of the press conference, he also addressed other issues including how the various meetings been held by the Minister hasn’t yielded satisfactory results so far.