Fashola Rules Out Compensation To Electricity Consumers Purchasing Transformers, Other Accessories
*Says Right Thing Must Be Done Despite Politics
By CLEMENT NWOJI, Abuja
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has ruled out any form of compensation to electricity consumers who indulge in purchase of power transmission and distribution accessories such as transformers, poles, wires, among others.
Fashola categorically maintained that there is no way consumers would go and purchase such items without certification of the quality simply because they need electricity supply to their places and then expect the government to give them any compensation or refund.
Fashola said these against the backdrop of some electricity consumers who out of desperation contributes money to purchase transformers and other electricity accessories to connect power supplies to their homes or business environment.
The minister spoke while answering questions at a forum of dialogue with Civil Society Organisations on the Power Sector Recovery Programme (PSRP) organized by the Ministry.
Further, he said that he would continue to do what is right for the country despite the fact that political year, 2019 is around the corner and is being preceded by 2018.
He said: “The first point to make for the sake of clarity is that this is not a blame sharing session. This an interactive session and consultative session. And I said this with regards to the issues that you raised.
“There will continue to be discordant if we don’t have information sharing. Everybody thinks that once he/she doesn’t have electricity it is the transformer. That is not correct. So, often times, you just go and buy a transformer of unknown quality, agreed quality specifications and rating and then you expect somebody to compensate you, it won’t happen.
“When we passed the eligible customers regulations, these were some of the things we were trying to mitigate about. And you have heard from the regulator, if you buy any asset that you are not suppose to buy, you should actually be compensated for it.
“But you cannot buy something and impose it on me, and then said I should give you back the money. It doesn’t work that way.
So, please that is why I said you should read the law because all these things are provided in the law.”
However, he assured that the ministry would continue to interface with the critical stakeholders to acquaint them with what the government is doing in the power sector despite the fact that political year is around the corner.
According to Fashola, “I have told those who care to listen, 2019 is a political year. It is preceded by this year, 2018 but I cannot because there is politics coming and then fail to do what is right for my country. I will not, I will not. You cannot run away from the political environment but there is a job that must be done.
He further urged the public to desist from energy theft and to be vigilant to report anyone found indulging in energy theft to face the force of law because it amounts to economic sabotage.