By Raji Rasak
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Raji Fashola, on Thursday said the Federal Government would not revoke the privatisation of the nation’s power sector.
Fashola made the assertion at the 5th European Union (EU)-Nigeria Business Forum with the theme: “Harnessing Nigeria’s Potential for Economic Growth” in Lagos.
“The Federal Government will respect and uphold the contract it has been committed to and inherited from the past administration.
“I am not in charge of power sector to revoke the privatisation agreement signed three years ago,” the minister said.
According to him, the government has nothing to gain from sending investors in the power sector parking, following calls from some quarters asking for revocation of privatisation of the sector.
“If those calling for revisiting of the privatisation of the power sector meant to say improving the governance, performance and efficiency, then, I am here for that.
“If revisiting it will mean that Distribution Companies (DISCOs) should open up and investments should come in, I am for that.
“If it means that the entire power sector will become very efficient, I will support it.
“But, I will not support cancelling of the contracts we had with them.
“If we revoke privatisation of the sector, investors will carry their bags and go, they will tell others that Nigeria is not reliable for investment,’’ Fashola said.
The minister, however, urged the EU-business delegates to invest in the power sector, saying that no economy would grow without investment in infrastructure.
In his remarks, Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State said the state was committed to the provision of critical infrastructure that would make doing business in the state a pleasure and profitable experience.
Ambode, represented by Mr Tunji Bello, the Secretary to the State Government, said that the state recognised the importance of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which was one of the focus areas of this year’s edition.
According to him, SMEs have huge potential for jobs creation and improved productivity.
He said that the state government had established a N500 million Trust Fund to support the People Living with Disabilities.