Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) has disclosed that Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government are still owing Distribution Companies (Discos) N78.6billion as accumulated electricity debts.
By Etuka Sunday
ANED said, stable power supply required huge capital therefore, called on debtors especially MDAs to pay up their bills so as to serve them better.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, the Executive Director, ANED), Barr. Sunday Olurotimi Oduntan,said, MDAs are owing
Abuja Disco N18.6billion; Benin Disco, N5.8billion; Eko N8.6billion; Enugu N7.2billion;Ibadan N6.8billion; Ikeja N5.9billion; Jos N6.5billion; Kaduna N8.2billion; Kano N1.2billion; Port Harcourt N6.8billon; Yola N2.4 billion respectively with a total sum of 78.6billion.
Barr. Oduntan listed vandalism, power theft, metering issue, lack of capital and others as some of the challenges of the sector, but assured that both the federal government and power operators are working tirelessly to overcome the challenges in the sector.
He said not until the efforts become visible, especially in the metering, Nigerians may not understand.
He said, considering the population of Nigeria, there was need to generator more power to go around.
“The major challenge is that we need to generate more, because when power is limited and most people don’t get it they may not understand what is being done.
“If we are to build one power station yearly in the last fourty years, we must have gotten 40 power stations, today we may not be talking about 5000mw,” he said.
On the question of whether electricity bills are inflated, he said, “bills are generated just like every scientific computation system; it is automated so there is no inflation of figures. Where we have contention is that we have many customers who are on estimated billing and the bad thing about estimated billing is about accuracy, fairness and equitable it is.”
He said, estimated billing was not a perfect system, however, he said the company was working based on the methodology handed over to us by NERC.
“We have what is called estimated billing methodology which is a guideline handed over to us by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and that is what we follow. Some of our members now let the customers know how to calculate, they give you formula so that you yourself can calculate bill.
“For example, I live in Wuse II, I have two refrigerators, one freezer, one air conditional, one fan, eleven bulbs so you do the calculation and you have the fair idea on how your bill is calculated,” he said.
Barr. Oduntan said that Nigerians should understand that transmission grid is 100% owned by the federal government. And that federal government owns 40% equity in power while private sector owns 60%, consequently, power problems should not be seen to come from discos alone.
On whether the discos would be willing to sell 5% of their shares for better improvement as recently suggested by the Minister, he said, “the investors point out that the agreement at the point of sale does not allow them to sell more than 5% of their shares in 5 years so even if they wish to, there are legal constraints that they cannot circumvent.
“Since government owns 40% of the shares, government could consider divesting part of its own to help raise the needed liquidity in the sector,” he said.