Electricity Distribution Companies Are Over Protected By FG – Akingbogun | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Business, Power

Electricity Distribution Companies Are Over Protected By FG – Akingbogun

Posted: Jul 1, 2015 at 12:09 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Obas Esiedesa  –  Abuja


The Interim President of the Nigerian Electricity Consumers Advocacy Network (NECAN), Tomi Akingbogun, has said that the electricity distribution companies were being over protected by the federal government to the disadvantage of other businesses operating in the country.

He therefore called on the new government of Mohammadu Buhari to investigate the terms of contracts between the government under Goodluck Jonathan and the privatized power companies.

Akingbogun told Daily Independent in Abuja that the Discos continue to make more money from consumers even when electricity supply has consistently gone down.

He explained that consumers are paying more without getting supply, noting that by increasing tariff, the discos are getting more money for supplying less power and “therefore there is no motivation for them to invest to improve on their service.”

His words: “The new government should look into the contracts of the sale of privatised power companies whether the players are actually playing by the rule. For example, they supposed to have invested in meters for consumers but rather than that, they are just doing flat billing for everybody.

“They are not giving power but just extorting the public. Even NERC is aware and it is trying to put a stop to it but I think that something needs to be done.

“They have been cheating the public for long and the public have been complaining yet we are not getting what is required.”

He called for the review of the contracts “especially the Yola Disco, I understand that they are no more interested in continuing and they are going to be paid their money back with interest and if that is true then it is not right.

“If that is the contract then we want to know from those who represented the government in the agreement. I have not read the contract. You know that nobody can sell his car to somebody for two years and then the person comes back and say he wants his money and you give him backs his money with bank interest.

“I think the discos have been over protected to the disadvantage of so many other businesses in Nigeria.

“Manufacturers are closing down and many other foreign investors are planning to pack out if things continue like this.

“Really there is no power at all and the new government needs to find out what has happened. Why all of a sudden everything collapsed after the trillions of Naira poured into the sector. The new government needs to investigate this,” he added.

Akingbogun, who is also the President of Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN), disclosed that the hospitality industry was struggling to cope with the high cost of energy to their business.

“Now, many investors in hospitality cannot pay salaries any more after paying electricity bills. You do not have many customers because these protracted elections have affected business so badly and yet the cost of electricity is so high and keeps on rising.

“We pay so much for electricity yet spend so much on diesel. The price of diesel is also too high that you pay N220 per litre at the pump. You are not making money so you cannot pay workers. It is like a keg of gun power and I think there is a trap somewhere and the new government should pay close attention to the sector,” he stated.