Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos, on Tuesday, asked the Federal Government to refund the N16 billion deducted from the state’s allocation for investment in power.
Addressing members of the Senate Committee on Privatisation during their visit to Lagos, Fashola said the state had invested in the power project but was yet to get full value for money.
“We invested in Power Plant; the power was not dedicated to Lagos, but they have deducted about N16 billion of our money in spite of court orders. Now, we get punished for taking the initiative,” he said.
He said the money had to be refunded to remove clogs that could affect the privatisation of the power sector.
“There is a standing liability to us by the PHCN (Power Holding Corporation of Nigeria), the illegal deductions of N16 billion for power that we did not get, for the power that other states used,” he added.
“Now, those are issues of social and economic injustice that must be resolved before we can even have a successful privatisation exercise.”
The governor also said he had written to the National Assembly to make appropriation to refund the money.
“If the PHCN workers that went on strike at the onset of Power Reforms were paid, why should we not be paid because we did not go on demonstration; we are being civil,” he said.
The Governor also called on the Committee to assist in creating “Greenfield Power Distribution Companies”, saying they would act as back-ups for the 11 distribution companies carved out of the PHCN.
The Committee Chairman, Senator Gbenga Obadara, said the committee’s visit was to interface with the Lagos State Government on “areas of mutual interest in the drive towards improvement in the Energy Sector.”