The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, on Tuesday advised those with reservation about his appointment to supervise the three ministries to channel their complain to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Disclosing this while responding to a question at a town hall meeting in Abuja, the former Lagos governor explained that he only plays a supervisory role in the ministries, adding that Buhari decided to merge three ministries in order to reduce the cost of running government.
He pointed out that over the years, the ministries that were merged together have had close working relationship.
His words, “Whether I can cope with three ministries or not, let us be clear on this: on the one hand, we have spoken about the cost of running government. And in trying to mitigate or reduce that cost, Mr. President, in his own wisdom, decided to merge three ministries together.
“So, my work really there is supervisory and directional. Today in the ministry of works, and in the ministry of housing, where there are over 4000 personnel, the number is reducing. The ministry of power has barely 800 staff today and the number is reducing as we are gaining traction.
“So, it is no longer a government-driven sector, it is now a government-regulated sector driven by private sector. And if you have issues about that, I think you should complain to Mr. President. For me, the privilege is to serve my country in whatever capacity I am designated to.”
Fashola further explained that his role as the overseer of the ministries is just directional, noting that the privatization of the power sector has made things easier.
He said, “Two of those ministries have had a natural relationship over years, they were either works and housing, or lands, works and something. In adding power to it, let us remember that essentially the work that is left in power is just to complete the privitisation and complete the transmission grid.
“The distribution is now in the hands of companies. All of the work that NEPA (National Electric Power Authority) used to do is now in terms of distributing power is now in the hands of 11 companies. What they used to do in terms of generating power is now in the hands of six companies.
“The agency called NERC (National Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) is the regulator of the power sector, in getting licenses issued and so on and so forth. And a statutory company called MBET. All of these institutions are taking positions and evolving.”