Fashola said 5,000 megawatts of power was far insufficient for over 170 million Nigerians.
The minister, who spoke in Abuja yesterday when he received the Director General of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Mrs. Dupe Atoki, promised to raise standards in the quality and quantity of service in the electricity supply chain.
The minister said it had become necessary for the private sector to support the Federal Government’s various efforts to boost power generation and embrace the new multi-year tariff order to consumers.
He also said the Credited Advance Payment for Metering Initiative (CAPMI) which had become one of the challenges to consumers should be resolved soon, stating that, “you cannot take peoples’ money without providing the service for which they have paid. I was uncomfortable with that”.
“We must bring mutual trust in the provision of power and those are some of the emerging issues again, and if people have paid for something, they deserve to have it, and if you can’t do it, wind down the scheme.
“Let’s hold you now fully responsible, you have a market tariff, you go and meter. All of these things are happening at our monthly meetings and we are also holding the DisCos now to their committed timelines for metering, and we are also asking them to file returns”, he said.
“We ask them ‘who have you metered? We want to see the details if you tell us you have metered them’. This will be an ongoing exercise until we finish; we also need to be fair because, if, since 1960 that we started public power, and we have not metered everybody when our population was not as much as this, do we honestly think this can happen in five months?
“But, ultimately, this will happen because there is a business end to it, and for those who are bringing in the meters, they also need to bring in high quality meters because they have a duty to protect both the consumers and the DisCos,” he said.
Speaking further, Fashola stated that although the role of his ministry was not to take sides, the new tariff regime had been made to protect the consumer as the ministry ensures that DisCos and GenCos perform their responsibilities well.
He added, “I think this last tariff seeks to achieve much for consumers in my opinion, and I will tell you why people were complaining about fixed charge, saying why will they take my money; but this last tariff stopped fixed charge, that’s a consumer sensitive charge.
“What the last tariff also did was to say, how do we stand to address the metering gap between the consumers and the DisCos?. It also tried to address the issue of estimated billing, so that if you dispute your last bill because you don’t have a meter, you cannot refuse to pay what you believe you have consumed and you cannot be disconnected”.