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An independent investigation carried out by an aggrieved Nigerian electricity consumer, Citizen Emma Anya has painted an annoying picture of how power Distribution Companies (Discos) bleed Nigerian residential consumers.
According to him, “When Power, Housing and Works Minister, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola says power generation is improving, don’t doubt him”.
“Real problems for the darkness Nigerian residents experience are the Discos. I found out today while on an unscheduled visit to one of Transmission Stations that the discos are deliberately failing to evacuate all available energy at the Stations.
“How do the Discos gain from this?
“They evacuate only about 50 per cent of available energy from the transmission stations instead of full 100 per cent or all available produced power. They then distribute the quantity majorly to high business zones at commercial rates, leaving residential areas without power nearly all through daytime.
“With this arrangement, while business or commercial areas have a minimum 12 -hour electricity supply per day and pay enough to enable them (Discos) cover more than 70 per cent cost of the evacuated power from the transmission stations, residential supplies suffer less than six- hour power supply (daytime and nighttime) by getting less than 10 per cent of the 50 per cent evacuated.
“Because it is hard to cheat business of commercial customers, their bills both prepaid and estimated are within allowable limits. However, because residential consumers especially those on estimated billing regime are many but without any union through which they can make a united case for reviews, they are jilted and given crazy bill which total may compare favourably with the total of business and commercial bills even though both parties are not given the same level of supplies.
In his remarks, Anya argued that “With this level of cheating on residential supplies and billings, it will continue to be difficult for Discos to fully meter residential customers (even with the introduction of Meter Access Providers MAP) without a fight from both the government and the Nigerian people.”
The report suggests that the tactics deployed by Discos in selectively evacuating half of produced power by Gencos remains the biggest challenge for power producers thereby building up debt profiles of the generating firms.
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