15 March 2016, Enugu —The Federal Government has given marching orders to Electricity Distribution Companies, DISCOs, in the country to supply pre-paid metres to electric consumers without further delay.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN, made this known at the end of his third monthly meeting with operators in the power sector at the Ugwuaji Transmission Station, Enugu.
Fashola said that the meeting discussed the issue of availability of gas, volatility of the foreign exchange market, financial capability of Discos as well as difficulties of prising gas in dollars instead of the local currency among others, adding that Discos must live up to their responsibilities of meeting the demands of their customers to supply them with pre-paid meters to avoid estimated billings.
Earlier before the meeting, the Minister had asked the Discos to always engage their customers by informing them promptly about any power outage and reasons for such problems.
According to Fashola, it was not the business of the government to explain to Nigerians why certain Discos were not meeting up with their responsibilities, having sold the various companies to them.
Fashola said government was playing the same role which the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, was playing as regulator for the telecommunications companies adding that each of them must step out to play their roles effectively.
“If you are not getting power from the transmission company, you must tell your customers so. The issue of review of tariff was arrived at after consultations. You (discos) did the consultations. Why don’t you step out and explain the issue to your customers. All of us must explain to our different customers where we operate,” he said.
The communique issued after the meeting read: “The Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, chaired the third monthly meeting of operators in the electricity industry in furtherance of identifying, discussing and finding practical solutions to issues facing the Nigerian electricity supply industry.