By Favour Nnabugwu
Consumers paid a whopping N777 billion for power supply in the first three months of 2022, according to Electricity Distribution Companies, DisCos,
The latest revenue figure is 317 percent higher than the N186.34 billion recorded over a similar period in 2021.
The 11 DisCos in a statement under the aegis of Association Nigerian of Electricity Distributors, ANED, said they have also installed 129,352 distribution transformers since the power sector privatization of 2013.
ANED’s Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, Barr. Sunday Oduntan, in the statement, said new milestones were recorded despite lapses in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, NESI.
While assuring consumers of the commitment of the DisCos to improving the services, he noted that they also recorded other feats such as “increased metering from 2.3 million in 2013 to 4.1 million as of 2020, a 78 percent increase.”
Oduntan also stated that the DisCos attained a “reduction of average Aggregate Technical Commercial & Collection Losses, ATC&C, estimated in excess of 56bpercent, pre-privatisation) to 46.3 percent increase in the number of registered customers from an estimate of less than 2 million customers, pre-privatisation, to 10.2 million; establishment of 1,035 customer centres and the creation of 32,573 jobs as against the 23,515 at the privatization period”.
On the recent restructuring that saw the takeover of five DisCos by banks, Oduntan described the action as “unjustifiable” as the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) is also a board member of the companies.
He said, “the recent restructuring of the DisCos is being worsened by a resort to violations of the rule of law – expropriation of DisCos outside the framework of the agreements reached under the privatisation of the assets”.
ANED condemned the arrest of the MD-CEO of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company, BEDC by elements of the law enforcement apparatus on August 15 2022.
ANED also cited the BPE’s ‘Performance Assessment of nine DisCos Comprehensive Report of December 2021’ which imdicated that several commitments and investments expected of the government were not been executed timely, leading to continuous structural issues impacting DisCos.
ANED said the operators of the distribution segment of the power sector value chain were ready to do more in a business environment that has respect for sanctity of contracts.
Oduntan claimed fur8, “BPE report also faulted the lack of minor reviews from 2015-2019 by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, despite dynamic variables, resulting in N2.4 trillion of tariff shortfall accumulating between 2015-2020, as well as unfavourable regulatory guidelines negatively impacting DisCos source of revenue”.