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Power tour

Gencos, Discos have failed their agreements in powering Nigeria—Esele

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Former President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Mr Peter Esele, has explained that against established timelines in the privatisation agreement sealed during the unbundling of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), both the Gencos and Discos had failed to guarantee a steady power sector.
In an interview with Business Hilights South-South Bureau Chief in Benin, the Edo State capital, the vibrant labour leader revealed that “As things are now, the Federal Government had placed itself in a difficult situation when it privatised the power sector in 2013”.
“I was the TUC president then when we had the discussion about power. Between (former) President Goodluck Jonathan’s government and President Muhammadu Buhari’s government; these so-called Gencos and Discos have collected over N1tn and there seems to be nothing to show for it up till now.
Esele further queried “How can we be giving money to privatise an entity? What they have done is blackmailing the government, as they borrowed so much money from the banks. So, if the government does not make money available to them, they will not pay the banks and the banks may go under.
According to him, “They do not share their profit with us. When profit comes, they pocket it. But you and I will carry their liability.”
“When you carry out privatisation, there are timelines. There are agreements. Are they meeting the timelines? No. The Discos declared force majeure in the North-East, so they are not responsible for anything.
“But in other areas, if you do not meet the timelines, then you have violated the terms of the contract and the asset can be resold. I was part of the negotiating team.”
He however decried the inability of the federal government and the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola who is a lawyer to rely on this window to pressure the power companies to either deliver on their agreements or leave the scene.
Since the incoming of Gencos and Discos, power production has not gotten any better and Discos had been blowing hot and cold in the supplies of prepaid meters which they agreed to give out as part of their concession agreements.

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