The Minister of State for Power, Mr. Goddy Jedy-Agba, yesterday, assured of the federal government’s decision to give 24 hours power supply to Nigerians during the Yuletide’s season.
He gave the assurance when he paid an on-the-spot-assessment visit to the Azura Power Plant in Edo State even as the Managing Director of Azura Power Plant, Mr. Edu Okeke, lamented that inadequate remittance of funds by Discos was one of the major challenges confronting the power sector..
The Minister while observing that the power sector has improved tremendously than they met it, said he would personally be on duty during the Yuletide to ensure that those saddled with the responsibility of generating and distributing power are up to their responsibility.
“The sector is improving and it is better than before. You can see the Union shutdown in less than 24 hours last week and it took us less than 18 hours to get them back to work after negotiation.
“Power for me is stabilizing. I am sure we will do better. Government, Discos and all the stakeholders in the power sector are putting heads together to ensure that.
“Christmas, Nigerians will have light all through. I will be on duty on Christmas day and you can see me going round all the power plants. Even on Christmas day I will go out to visit the power plants. I assure you there will be power,” he said.
Jedy-Agba commended the Managing Director of Azura, Edu Okeke, for living up to his billing, adding that the Azura is a pride of the nation and that he is proud to be a part of the project.
“I am very impressed and I want to be part of this team. I just told the MD that this is the most magnificent plant I have seen apart from the one I saw in USA ten or fifteen years ago but this is very good for Africa and it is very good for Nigeria,” he said.
He called for more private investment in the power sector for optimum power supply in the country.
“The federal government has privatized this thing called power, you should invest, I should invest, everybody should invest to make this thing work.
” You put money into something, you expect to make profit. No capitalist invest in social welfare. So, if you invest in it, you put more money to make it grow so you can reap your money and if you do not put in money, you do not make money. So, it is all commercialized. It is a commercial exercise,” he stressed.
On his part, Managing Director, Azura Power Plant Plc, Mr. Edu Okeke, said the company has gone beyond just a Nigeria thing but now a Pan Africa company.
“So, Azura has now gone from being such a small Nigeria power company to now a Pan Africa company. But today going to the capital market is not on our table. The majority of shareholders in the company is called Actis, a UK private equity firm and they have more than $10 billion, and also because they are private equity their shareholders are made up of a lot of pension funds that manage about $2 trillion.
“We need more Azura and more power project like this to get us from where we are to where we want to be,” he said.
Okeke noted that the location of the power plant is very strategic and that it will help boost the power sector of the country.