The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, on Friday said government ministries, departments and agencies as well as the military must pay for electricity supplied to them by power firms.
Fashola, who stated this in Lagos during the inauguration of the dispatch of additional 220 megawatts at Egbin Power Plant, said the Federal Government would ensure that the power sector remained “sufficiently funded”.
The Chairman, Egbin Power Plc, Mr. Kola Adesina, had said earlier that the power firm was currently being owed N47bn and appealing to the minister to intervene.
Fashola, who stated that issue of debts in the sector would be resolved, however, stressed that only verified debt would be paid.
He said, “We will pay debts that are legally contracted and verifiable. Going forward also, we have said that as government, we must demonstrate the clear necessity for everybody that consumes power to pay for what they consume, and government will start by showing example. One of the first things I checked as minister of power was whether the ministry of power owed (power firms).
“I am happy to say that the Ministry of Power is not owing. Now, we are already planning to ensure that all other ministries, works and housing, bring up their books so that we can pay up whatever we are owing the power providers. And this, we expect, will demonstrate to other consumers including departments, commissions, military, security; everybody must pay what they have owed.”
The Egbin Power Plant, the nation’s biggest generating utility, is set to operate at its installed capacity of 1,320MW following the revival of a turbine that had been idle for several years.
The additional 220MW of electricity from Egbin to the national grid would be distributed by Ikeja Electric and Eko Electricity Distribution Company.