SIR: It is now obvious that whatever yards tick used in privatizing the power sector was largely faulty. This is because the outcome so far leaves much to be desired. The sector is still bedeviled with lots of problems. There is no difference between now and the PHCN era. The only remarkable difference is the like in electricity tariff without a corresponding improvement in service delivery.
Before deregulating the power sector, flattering promises were made: that with privatization, Nigerians would not experience darkness any longer; that power outages would be a thing of the past; that the best hands had been picked to ensure this. The bitter truth today is that the Generation, Transmission and Distribution companies with odd sounding acronyms of GENCOS, TRANCOS and DISCOS respectively have failed Nigerians. It has been a cacophony of blames among these key players. While the DISCOS claim they can only distribute what has been generated and transmitted, the GENCOS and TRANCOS haves their own excuses. At the end of the day, hapless Nigerians are the worse for it.
The case of the DISCOS is the most annoying. If they claim they can only distribute what they generate, how about their billing system? Take for example the BEDC (Benin Electricity Distribution Company). This one is in charge of supplying power to Edo, Delta and Ondo states. From all indication, this company lacks the manpower and expertise to carry out the task it has chosen to undertake. Not long ago, the Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole summoned the management of this company and read the riot act: he warned that he would revoke the company’s C of O should it continue with its incompetence and exploitation of Edo people with crazy bills that do that justify the power supplied. In Delta State, the story is the same. In the state capital Asaba and envious especially, power supply is worse than epileptic. Same is the fate of Ondo State.
Deliberately, many of these DISCOS have reneged on their promise to supply Nigerian homes and offices with pre-paid meters even though this was part of the contract they signed. They prefer the ‘Estimated Billing’ regimen. The reason is simple: it benefits them more because of its exploitative nature. The DISCOS have misconstrued the tolerance and patience of Nigerians as acceptance of their ineptitude and fraudulent tendencies. So far, they are giving private entrepreneurship a bad name.
This government should revisit the entire process of electricity deregulation and correct the anomaly therein. It should not fold its hands while some bloated capitalists take undue advantage of Nigerians.
- Lucky Ofodu,
Agbor, Delta State.