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Nigeria News

How DISCOs Rip-off Consumers

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Nigeria News take a look at the various ways with which Electricity Distribution Companies swindle Nigerians.

Not much has changed in the power sector since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office over four years ago.

In spite of the government’s claims to have generated more power than the past regimes, it has failed woefully in the area of transmission and distribution.

The immediate past Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola has done a little in curbing the excesses of the various electricity distribution companies.

These DISCOs rip-off Nigerians. Of course, what easily flies into the minds of most consumers is the rip-off through estimated billing, there are several other ways with which DISCOs extort Nigerians.

Do you know that the Meter Asset Provider scheme licensed by the Federal Government has been hijacked by the DISCOs?

Earlier this year the government endorsed 17 companies to run MAP, which according to the scheme are supposed to be an independent body to sell pre-paid Meter. As at today, this MAP is indirectly being managed by the distribution companies.

The Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency has thousands of complaints from consumers over the various atrocities of Ikeja DISCO. Many of these complaints are yet to be resolved because IKEDC has refused to change its coercion.

Apart from the fact that they have taken control of MAP in which consumer will now have to register online for prepaid meter, the IKEDC has monopolized the system that no consumer can access the prepaid meter without passing through its table.

Do you know that this present government has done little in building power infrastructure to energize many of the developing areas in most parts of the south?

Except in some areas in the northern part of the country, the developing areas in the southern part of the country procure their own electricity assets and build infrastructure to access power.

Community Development Associations do this. They buy transformers, poles, cables and engage the contractor to build infrastructure. Yet, they pay an estimated bill through their noses.

It is saddened that after all of these, the DISCOs automatically take over the control of the infrastructure provided by their consumers as soon as they energise the community.

The only thing DISCOs do is distributing power to these communities at a very high rate. Some residents Associations go to the extent of signing a slave agreement with the DISCOs by donating all their assets in exchange for the light that they still pay for.

This does not stop the outrageous estimated bills every month. Do you know that if a transformer develops a fault, the residents’ Associations will be asked to contribute money to procure another one?

And in case that the association fails to do so, the DISCOs will put them on what they call 1+1 scheme to measure the update of their bills.

If the consumers are up to date, the DISCOs may bring a transformer which may take several months to do otherwise the community lives in perpetual darkness.

2 Comments

  1. Wole

    June 9, 2019 at 9:42 AM

    Without a doubt, you are spot on with your comments. It is sad irony that it is consumer protection council that is in the forefront of resolving customer issues and not NERC. Because NERC failed, power sector will continue to get worse. As pointed out by you, very soon all the excitement about MAP will die down when customers cannot access the meters.

  2. Sam

    June 9, 2019 at 3:57 PM

    MAP was destinied to fail from the very begining, when customers could not walk into a MAPS outlet to directly purchase peepaid meters. Now the whole process is completely hijacked by DISCOs.

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