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DisCos seek government intervention

DisCos seek government intervention

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Electricity distribution companies (DisCos) are seeking Federal Government’s interventions to make their operations and service delivery efficient, safe and profitable.

Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) Managing Director, Adeoye Fadeyibi made the call when the Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy, visited the company as part of its oversight function at the weekend in Lagos.

He urged the Committee, led by its chairman, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, to make the government and National Assembly look into making legislation specifying stringent punishment and prosecution of offenders involved in the acts of vandalism, energy theft, tampering with public power facilities and building on right-of-way of power firms.

Other areas Fadeyibi appealed to the government include facilitation of payment of government’s ministries, departments and agencies’ (MDAs) bills as at when due, approval of special exchange rate for the power industry, and consideration and approval of intervention bond for the power sector.

The EKEDC chief also noted the importance of streamlining policies and regulations that guide the power sector. According to him, proper alignment and allocation of risk along the electricity supply value chain and creation of a roadmap/template with measurable indices of agreed key performance indicators (KPIs) are very necessary.

He said: “All intervention projects funded by the Federal, State and Local Governments need to be done in full partnership with DisCos to ensure that it falls within their business requirements. Improved collaboration/consultation between the government and the operators, that is, creation of an inter-ministerial committee that involves the sector operators is important. Similarly, consistent, transparent and participatory policy/regulation making and implementation as well as improved transparency by Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) and Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) should be the way forward.”

Fadeyibi said DisCos are running the business at a loss, their workers harassed by customers and electricity tariff is not cost-reflective. He noted that power, oil and gas sector is exposed to banks at about N3 trillion, adding that customers owe DisCos nationwide about N1.5 trillion.

The committee urged the DisCos to enhance their networking with the parliament to tackle their problems, adding that complaint of revenue shortfalls implied a call for subsidy. The lawmakers noted that the issue of legislation is apt as it will address the problems of energy theft, vandalism, debts and lack of cost-reflective tariffs, among others.

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