DISCOs To Commence Customers’ Enumeration To Prevent Electricity Theft | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe

Business, Power

DISCOs To Commence Customers’ Enumeration To Prevent Electricity Theft

Posted: Oct 6, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Laide Raheem,

Abeokuta

Determined to tackle unaccountable commercial and collection losses being recorded by 11 electricity distribution companies operating in Nigeria’s power sector, Association of Nigeria Electricity Distributors (ANED) has disclosed that power distribution firms would soon begin customers’ enumeration exercise across the country to arrest irregularities and malpractices in electricity distribution.

According to ANED, the customers’ enumeration became imperative considering unfaithfulness and corruption on the part of power users, which give room for illegal electricity users to get away with power theft and illegality perpetrated in the country.

Speaking in Abeokuta on Monday on the proposed enumeration exercise, Sunday Oduntan, executive director, research and advocacy, Association of Nigeria Electricity Distributors (ANED), noted that series of sharp practices committed by illegal electricity users on Nigeria’s energy distribution lines are part of problems of electricity distribution companies.

Oduntan, who reeled out challenges confronting all the 11 electricity distribution companies, including commercial and collection losses arising from malpractices; failure of government’s ministries, departments and agencies to pay energy bills promptly; harsh regulating policies among others, added that power generation would increase if all these issues were addressed effectively.

He said “For instance, it is unbelievable that number of electricity users in Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) which consists of Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Kwara states and some parts of Niger and Kogi states is less than 1.5 million. It is so because lots of users by-pass legal electricity lines and use electricity freely and with impunity.

“That is why we are now doing what we call customers’ enumeration. That will help us to capture our customers effectively. Although, it is a several billions naira, it is an expensive exercise, we are going to embark on it, if that is what we need to fight electricity theft and illegal usage of power across the country.”

While speaking on increased power tariffs to be embarked upon by all the 11 DISCOs, Oduntan said that there was no going back on the proposed tariffs increase as all the power distribution companies had submitted new tariff rates to the regulatory bodies, adding that if no subsidies or waiver were given by government to cushion effects of high and rising cost of production on the part of DISCOs, then there was no other alternative, except to increase.

“That is why we are saying that our people need a cost-reflective tariff, our tariffs must be cost-reflective, that is my main message to Nigerians. Now, we are selling at the rates that NEPA and PHCN used to sell electricity when government was giving them subsidies, when they were part of government’s entity, when nobody cared whether they were paid or not.

“When there was no separate generation, transmission and distribution companies and we know where it took us; darkness. So, for there to be efficiency, let’s everybody plays his or her role. The tariff should reflect the cost of production. We have just finished submitting our new tariff, which was why we did a lot of consultations with our customers for them to see and feel our plights,” Oduntan submitted.