Electricity tariffs: We met the mess Jonathan administration created in the power sector – Lai Mohammed
LAI Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture says the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan created the problems in the power sector inherited by the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Before we came in, the power sector had been privatised by the previous administration, but the people they sold to them are incompetent. “When we assumed power, we met the mess,” Mohammed stated in Lagos on Saturday.
He was speaking during a meeting with the Online Publishers Association of Nigeria.
“Apart from the fact that the Distribution Companies (Discos), could not meter the people, they also could not pay for the electricity generated by the Generation Companies (Gencos), from the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Companies.”
He added that the Federal Government had to take over the debts of the electricity distribution companies.
“We had two options – cancel the entire sales or to get the Discos to recapitalise,” he added.
According to him, the Buhari administration took over the debt of the Discos, which was about N701 billion, because of the effect the cancellation of the sale would have on the country and international investors.
“The people are simply incompetent and if we did not provide the money that means they will not distribute power to anybody,” Mohammed explained.
“To borrow just to subsidise generation and distribution, which are both privatised, will be grossly irresponsible.”
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) are set to commence a nationwide protest on Monday over electricity tariffs and pump price of petrol increase.
However, Justice Ibrahim Galadima of the National Industrial Court in Abuja issued a fresh restraining order against the unions, following an ex parte application by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.
The order came a day after the same judge made a similar restraining ex parte order in favour of a group, Peace and Unity Ambassadors Association, on Thursday.
The judge ordered that both the NLC and the TUC joined as the defendants in the suit should be served with the fresh court order within seven days from Friday.