We can’t meter one million customers yearly – Discos

21 April 2016, Abuja –  Electricity distribution companies have said the deadline given to them by the Federal Government to meter one million electricity consumers annually is not realistic.

*Electricity meters.

*Electricity meters.

According to the Discos, the cap on their capital expenditure is a major challenge to meeting the deadline.

The chief executive officers of the 11 Discos stated this during an interactive session with the Acting Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Dr. Vincent Akpotaire, at the bureau’s office in Abuja.

The bureau, in a statement issued on Wednesday by its Head, Public Communications, Mr. Alex Okoh, stated that the meeting also had heads of power generation companies in attendance.

Speaking on behalf of the successor power companies, the Managing Director, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, Mr. John Donnachie, said the Discos and Gencos had benefited from efforts of the government in the sector through the National Integrated Power Project, the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc and the Central Bank of Nigeria’s N213bn intervention fund.

Donnachie, however, called for additional intervention through the bureau to secure more investment from the Federal Government by financing the 40 per cent equity held in trust by the BPE for the government.

On the implementation of a cost-reflective tariff, he said it was a step in the right direction but that the deadline by the Federal Government to the Discos to meter one million customers within a year was not realistic.

He explained that the cap on the Discos’ capital expenditure was a hindrance to meeting the deadline.

The IBEDC boss stated that metering was a capital-intensive venture and a key component in implementing the new tariff.

In his address, the BPE DG said that continuous interactions as well as the commitment of the power operators and the political will of the Federal Government were critical to resolving the challenges in the sector.

Akpotaire called for enhanced synergy between the successor companies of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria and the bureau to boost efforts towards actualising the full objectives of the power sector privatisation.

While acknowledging that there were fundamental challenges within the sector, he stated that they were not insurmountable if given time, inter-agencies collaboration and adequate investment.

 

– Punch

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