Twist and looming crisis capable of landing Lagos State into darkness have begun, following some comments made by the Managing Director of Egbin Power Plc, Dallas Peavey, which did not go down well with the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola.
But in an anger-laden outpouring, Fashola averred that Peavey should have told his visitors that Transmission Company of Nigeria’s (TCN) wheeling capacity has exceeded over 6,500MW, saying “As if these were not enough, my attention has been brought, to allegations to the effect that Mr. Peavey is inciting other GenCos to refuse to comply with grid codes and regulations made pursuant to the Electric Sector Power Reform Act of 2005 prescribing frequency levels of operation for power generating companies”.
He revealed further that “While we do not know why Peavey is acting contrary to our national interest, we also know that he has been in and out of Nigeria and came in on 17th August 2017 without a record of visa issuance on arrival”.
Accordingly, Fashola disclosed that “I have directed that the matter be referred to the Immigration department for advice on his legal status vis-à-vis a valid visa and work permit. I expect that appropriate action will be taken.”
Explaining specifically on the way and manner of Egbin Power boss presented his case before the US lawmakers, Fashola started by saying that “I am compelled to use this platform to respond to these allegations. Let me start by saying that Peavey did not tell his visitors how that N125 Billion was made up.
He did not also tell them that Ministries Department and Agencies (MDAs) debts owed to Discos had been verified and instead of claims in excess of N90 billion submitted as owed by the Federal Government, only about N27 Billion has been established by verification.
“He did not tell his visitors that resolution of debts is topical views of our agenda at these monthly meetings and minutes of our discussions as recently as the last meeting in Kano on August 14th 2017 is kept.
“He did not tell his visitors that Government has approved a payment assurance guarantee for all power produced to the grid and that some payments have been made and others are being processed as reported at the Kano meeting and the Abuja meeting in July 2017.He did not tell his visitors that his company either knew of these debts when his employers bought the plant or failed to do the due diligence that will have disclosed it to them. He also did not tell them that the Ministry of Finance has announced a programme to issue promissory notes for inherited debts subject to Parliamentary approval.
Fashola added further that “So, we know that when Mr. Peavey told his visitors that his employers could not evacuate 700 MW from Egbin Power Plant, and blamed TCN he was lying at worst or at best was being bombastic.
“We know because this Government is constantly working to maintain records, accurately and transparently in the power and other sectors.”
The Minister argued that “On the 2nd September 2017, around the time when the news was reported, Egbin’s peak power production was 344 MW (and the average power production was 336 MW)”.
“This is less than 50% of the 700 MW in the report credited to Mr. Peavey that his company could not evacuate, adding “We know that Egbin has 6 (SIX) turbines of 220 MW each, with an installed capacity of 1,320 MW, It was the first power plant I visited when I was appointed Minister. We know that three turbines, ST 1, ST 5 and ST6 are not functional. ST 6 for undisclosed faults and ST 1 and ST 5 for maintenance. So Egbin Power Plc was not producing 700MW at the time,” explained.