DisCos extort N2 trillion yearly from power users, consumer group claims

Posted by News Express | 10 August 2018 | 1,144 times

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•Electricity transformer

Some electricity consumers under the aegis of the Association for Public Policy Analysis (APPA) have claimed that 11 Distribution Companies (DisCos) rake in over N2 trillion annually by giving customers unfair estimated bills, enough to improve power supply services.

A statement by the APPA President, Comrade Princewill Okorie on Thursday, said it was reacting to the recent disclosure of the DisCos that they are running at a loss from the privatized firms since they took over in 2013 which hinders their performance.

The statement said: “It is suspected that electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) collect over two trillion naira annually from electricity consumers in communities under the 774 Local Government Councils in Nigeria through estimated billing.

“Still, they claim that tariff is inadequate without putting mechanism in place to transparently show evidence of revenues they generate,” APPA said.

They said with the estimated billing methodology, consumers expect the DisCos to make public the number of metered consumers and declare the revenue they generate monthly and annually.

The group said an independent survey in the South-East Zone across 95 Local Government Areas (LGAs) shows that the DisCos generate about N28 billion annually from the consumers through estimated billing.

“Each autonomous community in LGAs in Imo State, for example, is given an estimated bill of N750,000 monthly and they do not enjoy the electricity for up to 15 days in a month,” according to the survey outcome.

APPA supported the recent call of the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola for improved power delivery services especially in ending estimated billing.

It said: “If the current policy direction given to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is carried out expeditiously, Nigeria Electricity Consumers will be relieved of exploitative estimated billing by DisCos, jobs will be created through small power entrepreneurs and the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) will be happy to see power that it generates is being transmitted and distributed to consumers.”

•Sourced from a Daily Trust report

Source: News Express

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