Babatunde Fashola

By Ogbolu George

Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, says he will oppose payment of electricity bill like other consumers, if there is no supply.

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The Minister, speaking on Monday at the 12th Monthly Power Sector and Stakeholders’ Meeting in Ibadan hosted, pointed out that consumers tend to pay more when power is more stable.

The meeting was organised by Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company.

”The 3,500MW to 3,800MW that we have been able to keep on the grid over the last few months will be assisted greatly if we can have the gas pipelines back and add 3,000MW to it. That means we will be able to deliver well over 6,000MW if the gas pipelines are safe,” Fashola said.

Power firms have complained severally over non-payment of bills by consumers, a reason many of them gave as responsible for their challenges in the sector.

But the minister thought otherwise.

”Consumers are more resistant to payment when they don’t have electricity, and I will be, too, and you will be too,” he told the power investors and other stakeholders at the meeting”.

He also acknowledge issues with metering and estimated bills.

Fashola also said his ministry was trying to bring stakeholders together to discuss issues that would improve power generation and stop vandalism.

Three years after the privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), there has been little or no improvement in the sector.

Report by Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) disclosed that the nation witnessed total system collapse on 28 June, 2016 and partial collapse on 10 July.

While in 2016, the power grid collapsed 22 times – 16 total and five partial – up from 13 and 10 in 2014 and 2015 respectively.