Fashola: Government Will Recover 900 Seized Power Tools’ Containers

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The Federal Government is  to recover 900 containers of transmission equipment seized by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

The equipment were siezed, following the importers’inability to pay their duties.

Minister of Power, Works and Housing Mr. Babatunde Fashola, said at a stakeholders’forum organised to create awareness on the use of made-in-Nigeria products in Lagos that the government would first recover 400 containers, and later the others to improve power.

According to him, the delay of clearing was caused by the inability of the importers, mainly contractors hired by the government, to execute power projects to raise money for clearing.

Fashola said: “Several transmission projects have been delayed; the contractors handling the projects have either abandoned them or refused to commence work on them, due to funding. As we speak, the government is trying to recover some containers of transmission equipment that was trapped at the ports. Shortage of equipment is making the country to experience transmission hiccups.”

The minister said  problems in the value chain could be seen in the poor electricity generation, distribution and transmission in the country.

The grid, Fashola said, could wheel only 3,500 megawatts (Mw) of electricity, adding that the grid can be expanded to 5,700Mw by syncronising and simulating it.

The Minister said when the grid is expanded, it would help in wheeling and boosting electricity supply in Nigeria.

On review of the Electric Power Sector Reforms Act (EPSRA) of 2005, which set the tone for the reforms in the industry, Fashola said the EPSRA could only be reviewed when Nigerians provoke a debate on the Act if there is need to change some grey areas in it.

He said the government was leaving the review of the Act at the doorsteps of Nigerians in order to align  with the democratic norms, which emphasise the need for the citizens to have a voice on who, why and how their government is being run.

He said: “The parliamentarians who enacted the laws guiding the 2005 power sector reforms deserve some commendations. However, there is need for improvement because anything done by men and women is not perfect. Whenever there is a rethink on legislations on any issue, the people, who elected the parliamentarians, must come in. This is the time, in which people, must speak to their representatives on laws that require some amendments or modifications. This is what lobbying is all about.

“Is there a legislation, which endures forever? Is anything made by men and women perfect? I have my issues in the ways and manners in which the privatisation process was carried out. But the question is: Can I unmake yesterday? Not in the way some people are expecting but I can make it better. If the review of the Act would be good, I would take to that but the operators in the sector must show a reasonable level of support. I mean the support that would be in the interest of the larger society.’’

 Source: The Nation
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