Electric Power: Our National Grid, Our National Greed
ElevateNews takes a look at the country electric power system and how DISCOS extort consumers without investing back.
By next year, all things being equal, the Obafemi Awolowo University will remove itself from the national grid and begin to generate its own electricity.
This is according to the varsity authority. This will permanently solve the problem of the power outage in the institution and redefine the call for varsity autonomy.
Lack of electricity infrastructure is a major bane of development of this country and till now successive administrations have failed to find a solution to it.
Every institution, city and town that are connected to the national grid pass through three major cycles to have a supply in its domain.
It begins with power generation; power transmission and power distribution.
While power generation and transmission is the function of the government, distribution has been so privatised to extort the masses of this country.
The greed of the various electricity distribution companies is enough frustration that will make an average educational institution like the OAU to want to cut off of the national grid.
If it is cheaper, why not? The greed associated with our national electricity grid is known to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission but for now, it has no answer to stop it.
By next year the electricity tariffs will increase. Consumers will pay more but there is solace in that the government wants to involve itself in power distribution.
It means, the government will be selling energy to communities, companies and institutions that are not comfortable with the DISCOS exorbitant bills.
With this arrangement, the individual estate must prepare to have got its power infrastructure ready, including having a necessary asset like transformer before the government will be ready to do business with them.
At present, DISCOs hardly give transformer out to customers even when the asset should be its major investment to yield profit for these distribution companies.
The rural electrification project by former President Olusegun Obasanjo regime provided transformers for many communities. It supplied poles and string cables but many of these assets are obsolete now.
These transformers and many other assets are moribund now and cannot sustain modern technology in power production.
There are many communities that are still using 75mm cable while modern technology prefers 150mm, according to IKEDC.
But surprisingly, the IBEDC hardly complain about the size of cables, perhaps it does not cover industrial areas like IKEDC and EKEDC.
The 75mm cables always result in power tripping off in many communities.
Many communities suffer low voltage supply while the DISCOS prefer to give excuse instead of investing in modern equipment.
DISCOs extort consumers through estimated billings.
At present, the increasing population of consumers who now use prepaid meter has reduced the outrageous bill.
It is agreed the DISCOs do not want to let go. It is the reason why some companies prefer gas for power instead of our national grid.
If OAU can blaze the trail by December 31 as it has promised, it will go a long way in breaking the monopoly of these DISCOS.