Granted that the National Economic Council (NEC) rose from its Thursday last week’s meeting and ordered a forensic audit of all the electricity Distribution Companies (Discos) in the country, particularly their bank accounts, the fact remains that majority of Discos’ infrastructure repairs and replacements are surreptitiously done by their customers using coercion tactics.
Fact checks across several Discos divisions showed that customers who are usually organised in groups of street residents and communities who approach Discos for complains of failed infrastructures are tricked into contributing monies to repair the installations at customers cost even though it remains the official duties for companies (including Discos) to fix their failed systems.
Further checks revealed that whereas customers are coerced into funding Discos’ repairs, such contributions or costs on customers’ are not usually captured in Discos account as borne by customers’ but Discos themselves which amounts to clear fraud.
Additional details from the NEC meeting showed that the meeting chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and attended by the governors of the 36 states, also asked each of the governors to submit the details of their states’ investment in the DisCos.
Ahead of the NEC meeting last week, a subcommittee headed by the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, had made the proposal on forensic audit which was adopted.
Though no official response has emerged from the Discos, explaining issues after the meeting, Ebonyi State Governor, Chief Dave Umahi, informed State House correspondents that so far, the governors had established that the Discos made no significant investment in the power sector since 2013.