By; JULIANA KATUNG, Kaduna
It has been disclosed that Discos lose the sum of 20 billion Naira to defaulters of electricity every year in Nigeria.
This was stated during an interactive session with the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company and the Media by the Expert System Development and Capacity Building of the Company Mr. Uday Mishra.
In his presentation, Mr. Uday highlighted consumers using electricity legally are been billed while those who are connected illegally like tampering, bypassing or direct hooking are committing the act of theft. Adding there are other set of consumers who are legally connected and are on the billing net but are displaying little regard to business relationship with the Discos.
This indicates they do not pay on time or even not pay the current billed amount and also they connive with errant elements to underploy and go undercover and all this is an act of corruption and it is affecting the revenue of the Distribution Company.
“Presently, 60% of Nigerians do not have access to electricity and are mostly in the rural area, this indicates only 40% have access to electricity, and this is due to insufficient power received from the generating company.
Mr. Uday said research has shown that one percent in the increase of total power generating and distribution capacity leads to 2.4 % growth of the economy.
If power generation is low, then transmission will be affected and this will affect the distribution company totally, and if customers don’t pay, it will affect the distribution company as well and this will affect the entire society, “as long as distribution company is bleeding we cannot expect a betterment generation and transmission. He said”.
According to Uday, it is not that the management and staff of the Discos do not know what needs to be done in other to improve power supply in the country, rather there is insufficient fund to ensure that due to low revenue generation.
“Honest customers suffer the most Because they are subsidizing other non payers and they are also getting less supply of the electricity than what we want to supply them, this shows that tarrif is under pressure.”
To curb this menace, it is a must for customers to care of their duties by paying fully and not engaging in any act of theft also all components of power sector such as TCN and Discos must use the increased revenue towards the betterment of the sector adding regulatory and statutory bodies(NERC,MoP,etc) must strengthen the sector with better regulatory framework and that government sponsored investments, subsidy for lower income groups tie up with multi lateral agencies to support the industry.
He stressed the need for the blame game to stop by imploring every stakeholder to be mindful of their duties in other to ensure success in the effort of providing sufficient power supply in the country.