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DISCOs are technically insolvent – BPE

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By Emman Ovuakporie & Chris Ochayi

ABUJA— Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, yesterday, said most of the Distribution Companies, DISCOs, in Nigeria were technically insolvent.

Director-General of the bureau, Alex Okoh, made this revelation during an interactive session at the instance of House Committee on Power, with critical stakeholders in the Nigeria’s power sector, including Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company, NBET; Electricity Distribution Companies, DISCOs, and Generation Companies, GENCOs.

The D-G in his submission, said there was need to immediately solve the challenges bordering on price structure and liquidity of DISCOs.

He said:  “We need to solve the liquidity challenge. How do we make the industry viable in terms of liquidity? If we take all the energy that the DISCOs buy and the energy sold, assuming there is minimal losses on collection side, we’ll find it difficult to get enough revenue to push us through.

“There’s a gap in the price structure. There is an empirical way of bridging other gaps. If we identity what that gap is, then government can handle the other issues.

“They need to improve infrastructure that consumers can pay for, but technically they don’t have the capacity to do so.”

Fashola deploying propaganda to distort facts —DISCOs

Meanwhile, the crisis rocking the Nigerian power sector, yesterday, took a dramatic twist as  electricity Distribution Companies, DISCOs, tackled the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, accusing him of deploying propaganda to distort facts for cheap political gains.

Operating under the aegis of Association of Nigeria Electricity Distributors, ANED, DISCOs vehemently took exception to a deluge of accusations, ranging from incompetence, non-performance to indebtedness being heaped on them by the minister.

Recall that Fashola while briefing the media on the development in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, NESI, had tied most of the problems being experienced in the post-privatisation of the power sector in the country to the inability of the investors to  live up to  expectation, warning them to quit if they were not prepared for the task.

But, reacting to the minister’s outburst yesterday, DISCOs, in a 16-page document issued to newsmen in Abuja, itemised all the issues raised by the minister and concluded that his actions have resulted in his ministry’s consistent promotion of policy initiatives that had resulted in sector-wide confusion.

The DISCOs, while accusing Fashola and  Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, of lying to the public over the claims of actual megawatts of power generation and transmission, said feeding the public with distorted information was capable of doing more damage to the power sector.

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