01 March 2015, Lagos – IN the last two weeks, I have not enjoyed up to 48 hours of public electricity. The situation may not change in the next two weeks, but I will still have to pay the DISCO’s (electricity distribution company) N750 charge to service their meter that did not work throughout the month. All Nigerians have to pay this charge too, save for the ruling class, who the common people pay for the diesel to fuel their generators, and even their food. Yet they sign off on companies that scam us every day.
How on earth would any government look the other way while citizens pay for what they do not use? What manner of a President is that, if I may ask? Or will President Goodluck Jonathan look at Nigerians in the eyes and tell them he does not know that they pay ‘NEPA’ for the darkness it gives them? And to think he was the one that introduced the N750 monthly fixed charge makes the situation sadder.
This same President, at the inauguration of a new line at the Egbin power facility said: “Small and medium enterprises cannot thrive if owners of such businesses are left to generate their own electricity. Egbin power facility presents a vision of our drive to give stable power supply to Nigerians.”
And the Vanguard editorial of February 24 asked: “Are we supposed to applaud this new-found wisdom? Enterprises would not survive, not to talk of thriving without stable electricity supply, which affects industries, not minding their size, homes and government.
Professor Chinedu Nebo, Minister of Power, at the same event, promised 10,000 megawatts by 2016; and, 12,500MW by 2017. The newspaper editorial shared in my pessimism by asking, “When would these megawatts get to users? Nigerians have never been interested in what is generated, but improved electricity for their use. It insults their sensibilities that at times of worsening supplies, all they hear are applauses about increased power generation.”
If Jonathan is really sincere about giving Nigerians stable electricity, he should first stop DISCOs from collecting that devilish N750 monthly service charge.
**Justin Akpovi-Esade – Daily Independent