…Says N500bn spent on legacy debt, workers’ pay off
Our Reporter: DENNIS MERNYI, ABUJA
Distribution Companies (Discos) that have adopted the culture of rejecting power allocation transmitted to them by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) may soon lose their licences, Minister Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, has said.
The Minister who warned electricity distribution companies that government would apply sanctions on those that continue to reject load allocation given to them by regulators stated that such Discos risk having their licences revoked unless they resolve to put their network in order and make more power available to consumers as generation improves. He urged consumers to report cases of Discos’ failure to attend to their complaints to NERC for possible re-dress and sanctions, stressing that service by the distribution companies must improve as more power becomes available.
He said: “We have received complaints of Discos rejecting power allocated to them. I saw a query written by NERC to one of the Discos. I don’t want to embarrass them by mentioning names, but we want to call them to order. Any Disco that henceforth rejects power sent to it, will face the wrath of the law.
“And if it becomes a habit, then NERC will have to withdraw their license because there is no point starving Nigerians of power when that power is available.”
The Minister further disclosed that the Federal Government has spent about N500 billion to settle debts and payoff to workers in the power sector to ensure that the privatisation of the sector took place last year.
He explained that this enabled the government to create a conducive environment for the private sector to invest in the power sector.
Nebo, who revealed this in Abuja during the 2014 Ministerial Press Briefing urged Nigerians to be patient as the challenges facing the sector are being tackled by government.
He said government was determined to ensure that power gets to at least 75 per cent of Nigerians by 2020, stressing that the foundation to achieving this was now in place. Currently, only about 40 per cent (or 68 million) of Nigerians have access to electricity. The Minister explained that while most power plants built under the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) are almost completed, gas supply plan has delayed their take-off.
Source : SunOnline