The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has lashed out at Nigeria’s largest power plant, Egbin Power Station, accusing the Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Dallas Monroe Peavey Jr of telling lies and causing fear in the power sector.
Fashola accused Peavey of misrepresenting the available capacity of Egbin and the amount owed to the station by the electricity market.
The Minister who spoke at the opening of the 19th monthly meeting of the Power Sector Operators hosted by the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) at the Akangba 330/132/33KV Transmission Station, Surulere, Lagos, yesterday also questioned the legality of Peavey’s presence in Nigeria.
Fashola was angered by presentation made by the Egbin CEO to a group of United States Senators who visited Nigeria and the power plant, recently.
According to the Minister, Mr. Peavey had told the visiting Americans that government was owing them N125 billion.
Also that Egbin Power Plant could not evacuate 700 megawatt of power because of TCN (Transmission Company of Nigeria) failure to provide the capacity to do so.
Fashola said both positions were not true and accused Peavey of working against Nigeria’s national interest.
He stated: “Let me start by saying that Mr. Peavey did not tell his visitors how that N125 billion was made up.
“He did not also tell them that MDA 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 are 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 are 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”.
He pointed out that “it is true that there was a time in our recent past that only Americans would know if there was a problem in Nigeria”, declaring that “that time has passed”.
Fashola explained that “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. Therefore, 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.
“We know that Egbin has six turbines of 220MW each, with an installed capacity of 1,320MW. It was the first power plant I visited when I was appointed Minister”.
He continued: “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.
“What Mr Peavey should have told his visitors is that TCN’s wheeling capacity has exceeded over 6,500MW. These are also reported at our Monthly meetings.
“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”.
The Minister added: “While we do not know why Mr. 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.
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