Remarks By H.E, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN At 27th Monthly Power Sector Operators Meeting Hosted By Yola Distribution Company
I welcome you all very warmly to this meeting, which is the 27th in the series of monthly meetings that has taken us to virtually all parts of Nigeria.
I thank the Managing Director of Yola Distribution for hosting us.
Many of you will remember that in 2015, Yola DisCo was the only one of the 11 (eleven) privatized DisCos that was given up as being unviable.
But this Government did not give up on Yola DisCo. The Government appointed Engr. Mustapha to manage this DisCo.
Month after month, from reports we have all received about performance and monthly rating of DisCos, it is obvious that Engr. Mustapha and his team have proven that Yola DisCo is not unviable.
At this forum, I will repeat what I have said about change, that it is not a matter of chance but a matter of choice.
Similarly, it is not an event but a process that involves the application of methods and the making of choices, some of which are difficult, but very often resourceful, even if sometimes misunderstood.
The story of Yola DisCo epitomizes change and it speaks eloquently to our roadmap of incremental power.
From my very first visit to inspect the resumption of work at the Maiduguri TCN substation, which had been damaged by insurgents, to the completion of the Mayo-Belwa TCN substation and the installation of Distribution Infrastructure by Yola Disco, incremental power is returning to the customers within the Yola DisCo franchise.
Eighty per cent (80%) of damaged 33KV lines have been restored in areas like Damboa, Madagali, Maiduguri, Damasak, Gombi, Mubi, Wukari to mention a few.
Change means providing incremental power against the odds, and nothing is truer than the story of one Agricultural enterprise in Adamawa, whose proprietor visited to tell me that since the completion of the Mayo-Belwa sub-station, he has drastically reduced his purchase of diesel and the use of his generator.
For him, change means reduced operating cost at his farm, and for consumers of his Agro products, change means reduced food prices.
As you will have heard in the news, economists are predicting a further reduction in inflation and they are attributing it to reduction in food inflation and food prices.
As you might have also heard, I visited Kebbi last week to inspect our road projects, and the Governor, Atiku Bagudu, reported that most of the local governments in his State are getting 18 to 20 hours of power supply, from Kaduna DisCo.
This is what change means, and it is consistent with our roadmap of incremental power.
While we are inspired by the news of progress, especially coming from those who receive the service, we remain mindful of those we have not yet reached, and remain committed to get to them, whether on the grid or off the grid.
In this regard, let me report some progress made within the last month, as I usually do, in order to keep all of us abreast of what our members are doing and what the industry as a whole is experiencing.
I am pleased to inform the meeting formally that a substantive Chairman, in the person of Professor James Momoh, is now in place for the NERC, following confirmation by the Senate, and his swearing in on the 3rd day of May 2018.
This means that another issue under our Power Sector Recovery Programme (PSRP), relating to Governance, has now been resolved.
Also, within the last month, particularly, on the 7th of May 2018, I had the privilege to Commission the Odogunyan Transmission Substation completed by TCN to serve customers in Lagos and Ogun States, under the Ikeja DisCo franchise.
I can also report that we are making progress on the Federal Government’s planned intervention in the Distribution Value Chain to help deliver the 2,000MW that is constrained by distribution equipment.
The advertisements for quotation by original equipment manufacturers for Transformers, Breakers, and Associated Equipment compiled by the DisCos have been published, and we await responses.
The Azura Power Plant is now fully completed and ready for commercial operation to deliver more power to boost incremental power.
On the off-grid side, His Excellency, the Vice President, recently commissioned a market intervention in Ondo State, delivered by Rural Electrification Agency, another boost to our incremental power and provision of access to previously unserved people.
The progress we are making will require us to increase our commitment to further improving service.
This will be more demanding as the rains come down in the next few months.
The rains will bring more water supply to the Hydro Electric facilities, and they will bring more challenges to Transmission and Distribution by way of storms, heavy winds, falling trees, damage to towers, lines and installations.
We must rise up to these challenges better than we have done in the past.
Some of what we must do are:
Promptly issue notices when there are known damages that interfere with power supply;
Promptly send our maintenance men out to repair and replace damaged equipment or clear fallen trees;
Send information to the public on multiple platforms of conventional and social media to report faults that we may not be aware of;
Painstakingly hold ourselves out as available, ready, and willing to resolve customer problems and provide better service.
Ladies and Gentlemen, our journey of change and incremental power continues, and I thank you all for your commitment.
Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN
Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing
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Hon Minister of Power Works Housing Mr Babatunde FasholaSANmiddleCommandant National Defence College Rear Admiral Samuel IIesanmi Aladeright and Governor of Kogi State Alhaji Yahaya Bello left shortly after the Opening Session of the 7th Edition of the National Security Seminar 2017 organized by the Alumni Association of the National Defence College with the theme
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