By Gabriel Dike
Former Dean, Faculty of Engineering, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Sanmbo Balogun, has accused the various power distribution companies in the country of ripping off electricity consumers with crazy bills despite the current erratic supply to homes and industries.
Balogun, who spoke at the 5th distinguished lecture of Faculty of Engineering of UNILAG, said electricity bills are crazier than before while the various power distribution companies are mounting a strong campaign to justify the obvious rip-off.
Balogun who spoke on the topic: “Challenge the Engineer, Unleash the Nation’’, used the occasion to advise President Muhammadu Buhari to split the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing being handled by one person, to make it effective in service delivery.
According to him, the poor and inefficient power generation, transmission and distribution has defied solution for almost 20 years despite the heavy financial provisions for electric power development during the period.
“Power supply continues to be tentative. Many Nigerians are not happy with the crazy bills they get every month without commiserate electricity supply to their homes and business places. Power is the backbone of any economy,” he said.
The expert in engineering issues noted that the distribution companies (Discos) only bidded for and bought up the distribution right and facilities for the sole purpose of making money without investment.
“Broken power poles, tangled electrical wires and cables, snapped cross-arms, over-loaded transformers are clear evidences of Discos that are not ready or able to perform. What these companies appear notorious for is the issuance of outrageous bills even when power is not supplied to their customers.
Clearly, without diligent investment in distribution infrastructure, there will be no facilities available to receive the increased power expected to be generated by the power stations touted to be coming on stream in no distant future,” he lamented.