Nigerians have countless reasons to reject the new electricity tariff proposed for July. From foisting estimated bills amidst poor power distribution by DISCOs, and her inability to pick all the generated wattage for onward distribution to consumers, Nigerians should not only resist the proposed hike in electricity tariff but should demand for good services, prepaid meters (Which are supposed to be free) and distribution of all wattage generated by generating Companies, popularly called GENCOs. What is then the use of generating enough power that would not be fully distributed to Nigerians? One may ask. All these are happening despite the existence of a regulatory agency Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), a company that exists more in name than in to its statutory responsibilities.
Information availed LeadingReporters revealed that the Distribution Companies have continued to sabotage governments efforts in their quest for profitability at the expense of hapless Nigerians. An investigation by LeadingReporters revealed that the Distribution Companies have refused to up its capacity to distribute as much power as 4,000mw so far generated by the GENCOs. According to GENCOs, they have installed capacity of about 5,000mw, while the transmission companies and the DISCOs may not have the wherewithal or the willingness to transmit and distribute up to 3,000mw. DISCOs is estimated to have only the capacity to distribute less than 2,000mw with the language “load management”.
It would be surprising to Nigerians that the GENCOs generated as much as 4,600 Megawats between November and December last year but because of the unwillingness of the DISCOs to pick the generated wattage, Nigerians and businesses suffered unnecessary hardship.
A source who spoke to us on condition of anonymity confirmed to LeadingReporters that contrary to what Nigerians are made to believe, the major challenge in the Power Sector is not basically with the Generating Companies, but mainly with the Distribution Companies who prioritize profitability above service.
The source further alleged that the little power the DISCOs eventually picks is then channeled to high brow areas and high target consumers where they believe they make much of their profit, while they keep exploiting others who usually are given estimated bills whether they consume electricity or not.
“The irony is that the people classified as ‘poor’ consumers are the ones that suffer the broth of it all as they are given estimated bills even when they’re not given light. Because these people are not availed pre-paid meters, they are billed whether they use power or not. It would have been different if they were availed with meters so that this way if the DISCOs don’t supply them electricity, they don’t pay because you won’t pay for what you didn’t consume”
It would be recalled that DISCOs have refused to avail pre-paid meters to consumers in most areas thereby giving them estimated bills which they must pay whether they consume electricity or not.