Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, at an inaugural meeting of setting agenda for the power sector, has said that the essence of the meeting is for all operators to regularly meet in order to collectively grapple with the unique and general problems bedeviling the sector. “This platform will bring to bear various professionals’ technical know-how, skills and experiences with a view to collectively proffer solutions for the sector to make progress.”
He also added that “We need to leverage on the various experiences of diverse professionals operating in the sector, we want to democratize access to credible information, which our people are craving for”. To this end, the Minister directed that market providers must have their contacts in the public domain, as he can no longer allow them to be operating behind the scene.
“Tasks must be owned as quickly as possible, service providers must allocate roles in helping to solve problems, customers have the right to hold us accountable; we must urgently have information about how customers can report issues, we want to run a safety conscious sector.”
The Minister said that sectoral meeting will hold in the various field locations of DISCOs and GENCOs, the purpose of which is to also provide platforms for peer review mechanism, as well. “We also want to provide the opportunity to be on ground in all our locations, as to see things for ourselves, with a view to proffering service-wide solutions through shared know-how and experiences.”
To drive this all important meeting, a thirteen point agenda has been crafted to capture key issues, relating to the sector. The Minister stressed that the sector cannot afford to fail Nigerians in providing them uninterrupted power supply.
Fashola opined that there was need to bring in other stakeholders and also interface with gas providers, “The sector must design a common compass with which to navigate the difficult terrain;…the platform will help the power sector share ideas, experiences and tasks, we must communicate with Nigerians new habits fashioned on democratization ethos that will make people have access to information.”
While speaking at the meeting, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu, Minister of State (Petroleum), commended the convocation of the platform and said, the meeting will help oil and gas sector operators to track what we need to do urgently to ensure that we improve in our quest for more gas delivery to power plants.
Earlier, in his welcome remarks, the Permanent Secretary (Power), Engr. Louis Edozien, said that the sectoral inaugural meeting is required now than ever before, as the electricity market is at a transitional stage where the rules are to be obeyed by all stakeholders. He expressed optimism that this meeting will strengthen the market and contract-driven electricity industry that is already in place.