FG To Offset N47bn Egbin Debt, Flags Off 200MW Power Evacuation In Lagos

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola has said that federal government will offset all genuine electricity debts to power generation companies to enable them proceed with their plan of improve supply.
Fashola particularly assured of the settlement of N47billion debt it owed Egbin Power PLC, just as he admitted that the new owners of the plant, Sahara group has done creditably well to rehabilitate the thermal station.
The minister who yesterday (Friday) kicked off of the evacuation of 200MW excess capacity for both Ikeja and Eko Electricity Distribution Companies in Lagos said the process will improve supply in the state .
According to him, “I realized that the power sector needs to be sufficiently funded. When I resumed, I firstly checked what the power ministry was owing but I am happy we were not owing anything. 
“We are working with other ministries to settle their outstandings too. I want to assure you that we will pay debts that are legally incurred and are verifiable.
“As government, we have to demonstrate clear commitment to encourage other power consumers to pay.”
He stated further that everyone must pay what he or she is owing. 
“We will ensure that the debts are liquidated without distorting the system,” he said.
He urged industry regulators to brace up to promote efficiency in the sector. “If Eko and Ikeja Discos are ready to take power and dedicate it to special buyers who are ready to pay slightly higher tariffs, the regulators must begin to work on this to accommodate willing buyers and sellers.
The public should know this and must be ready for the change,” he said.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of Egbin Power, Mr. Kola Adesina, stated that “at the point of take over two years ago, we invested $500million and additional N45billion has been spent to overhaul the plants which were never overhauled over 30 years it was built.
“As at today, the Federal Government is owing us N47billion. If you can support us and ensure the payment of the debt, we will appreciate it and be able to do more.”
The Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), Benjamin Dikki, implored Nigerians to be patient while assuring that privatisation of Power sector will work if telecoms can work. 
“Telecoms worked because the regulators nurtured the market and investors came in. If regulators can nurture the power sector market too, investors will bring in more money and invest,” he said.

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