By Chineme Okafor and Amaka Mozie in Abuja
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has stated that the federal government is no longer keen on providing sovereign guarantees to investors interested in building new power plants in the country.
The government’s new position may not be unconnected with a not-too-palatable experience with the Azura Power project in Edo State.
Instead of providing sovereign guarantees, the government, Fashola said, would support interested investors with stable conditions for their investments.
The minister also stated that it was reasonable for the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to ensure that distribution companies (Discos) in the country comprehensively provide meters to consumers in their networks before the regulatory agency undertakes a rate review that could benefit them.
Speaking on The Morning Show of ARISE News Network, a sister broadcast arm of THISDAY Newspapers Monday, the minister explained that he had offered an opinion to NERC and stakeholders in the power market that reviewing tariffs for the distribution companies (Discos) without ensuring that they adequately close up the metering gap in the industry would be unfair to consumers.
Fashola, who maintained that it was not his job to fix electricity rates, added that his views were based on ensuring that all parties in the industry – operators and consumers — were treated fairly by the market.