By Emmanuel Acha
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Raji Fashola, has faulted the no confidence vote passed on Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) by the state House of Assembly.
The minister, who criticised the action on Monday in Enugu at the 16th power sector monthly meeting, appealed to the state government to settle the N2.6 billion it owed EEDC.
He said that the debt contributed to the challenges faced by the distribution company in meeting the electricity needs of its consumers.
He expressed dismay that the company had been under assault in Enugu State.
“EEDC appealed to me to intervene and impress on the state government to settle the huge debts it owed the company,’’ he said.
He said that the distribution company might not have impressed its customers due to obvious challenges.
“The power sector is in transition and the type of result we expect may not come immediately.
“The interest of the EEDC and the customers will be better served if the state assembly collaborates with the company instead of the no confidence vote,” Fashola said.
The minister said it was ridiculous that the state assembly passed no confidence vote on the EEDC when the government owed it N2.6 billion.
“The more attention we pay to the power sector by paying for the power we consume, the more result we get.
“If attention is not paid to the sector, there will be poor performance and no amount of vote of no confidence will improve their performance,” he added.
Fashola said it was obvious that most of the power distribution companies had performed below expectation and urged them to improve on their performance.
He stressed the need for EEDC to improve on its communication with the public in order to build mutual trust.
He reiterated the commitment of the federal government to improve the power sector, which was evident in the institution of the power sector recovery plan that would soon be launched.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalled that in the first quarter of 2017, Enugu state Assembly passed vote of no confidence on the EEDC, citing poor service delivery.
Meanwhile, the state government through the Commissioner for Information, Dr Godwin Udeuhele, has said that the government is making efforts to settle the debts accumulated by successive administrations.
He said that the incumbent government had paid some amount of money to show its commitment.
The commissioner said that a committee made up of government officials and staff of EEDC had been set up to sort out the actual amount owed the company.