Nigeria News

ANALYSIS: Censuring Fashola’s Claim of Regular Power

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Nigeria News takes a look at the claim by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola that many states now enjoy almost 24 hours of power supply.

The Ministerof Power, Works and Housing walked on the fighting sides of many Nigerians thisweek by his claim that many states in Nigeria now enjoy almost 24 hours ofpower supply.

The formerGovernor of Lagos State spoke on Channels Television as he defended hisministry and the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Nigerians went on social media, calling on the minister to name the states. The minister mentioned Sokoto and a few states in the north.

Of course, there is an improvement in power generation. According to the minister, the power generation rises to 7, 000 megawatts in August 2018. This was achieved because of the ceasefire by the Niger Delta militant. The militant groups have stopped the destruction of the gas pipelines that supply some of the turbine that generates electricity power.

The government has also built new turbines and provided better maintenance for the old ones, according to my findings.

However, thegovernment has failed to address the problem in the power distribution, whichof course is the main channel to which the populace will access the light andjudge if the administration has really done well.

No doubt, the power generation has increased but its distribution is at the lowest flow. The numerous distribution companies have failed the consumers.

Take Lagosfor example, there are two distribution companies. The Eko ElectricityDistribution Company and the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company. These twocompanies have failed to invest in modern facilities to boost its supply. Thesupply has been inadequate due to lack of modern tools and investment in bothhuman and technological facilities in the companies.

Each time itrains, there is the tendency that either of the 33kva or 11kva lines will drop.It always take days or weeks before the company will fix the problems. Theresponse time of these DISCOS is very bad.

Since the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission compelled the DISCOS to give pre-paid meters to its customers, the companies had found it difficult to comply.

DISCOS havebecome a scam. The estimated billing system is a fraud. The companies issuebill arbitrarily without auditing the homes of their customers and called itestimated bill. How did the DISCOS generate the bills without auditing thegadgets and other electric appliances used in every home?

This andmany other questions had remained unanswered for many years. It will be a goodstep if the government can go ahead and implement the Meter Asset Providerscheme it proposed last year to stop this DISCOS fraud.

No fewer than 17 companies have shown interests, already approved by the government to provide pre-paid meters for the teeming population of Nigerians who are currently being extorted by the DISCOS estimated billing scheme.

This is amajor step the Fashola’s leadership must quickly address before he can boldlysay that the electricity power supply has improved. Without this, the minister’sclaim will continue to be censured by millions of Nigerians.

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