Press "Enter" to skip to content

Bitter truth on power supply

It has been said that the truth is bitter. In terms  of  the cause  of poor  electricity  supply ravaging  the nation  nowadays that fact  was brought home  vividly  in  a statement  issued  by office of the Minister  of Power, Works  and Housing , Mr  Raji  Fashola .  Issued by one of his aides, the   Minister said it was immoral to expect  the Federal  government to  blame electricity  distribution  companies  called discos  for the poor  electricity  supply  in the country .
Ostensibly, Fashola  was responding    to the news  that  the House  of  Representatives had  invited  him and stakeholders in the electricity  industry to  explain the  cause  of  power  failure  in  Nigeria . The statement  was  therefore  meant  to  apprise  the legislators before hand  until   he eventually  showed  up  in  the  House   on  the subject . In effect, the Minister killed the proverbial  two  birds  with  one stone . He  answered  the  question of the legislators  from  afar  as it were.
He also  allayed  their  fears    also  on the  mistaken  notion  that  the discos  were the culprits of  the poor power supply  in the country . Let  me state  clearly  as a keen  observer  of the  power  sector  and its development in the right  direction in  Nigeria I  find  the pronouncements  and statement  of  the  Minister candid ,  informed  and  most  patriotic .  In    particular,  I urge  our lawmakers  to  emulate these  virtues  even  as they grandstand to nail  perceived  culprits  for  the poor  supply. .
The Minister’s  statement  pointed out some facts .The  first  was  that pipeline vandalism had  disrupted  and decreased  electricity  supply  massively  nation  wide  and power  generation , and transmission    had  suffered  and such  distribution  had  been  scanty  all over the nation . The second  is that  many  government  parastatals  and institutions owe the  distribution  companies  a lot  of  money  predating  his  recent  appointment as Minister  of  Power thus  tying  his  hands  to stop  the  discos  from  demanding immediate payment  from  such    agencies   or  have   them face massive  disconnection.  Which     ipso facto  is the legal  resort  for  such  breach  of  payment  in the face of  continuous enjoyment   without  payment   of electricity  supply by  these  government facilities  and corporations ?
The third was the  fact that  the Federal  government   before  the advent  of  this administration  had  sold its ownership in the power  companies and had  no control over them in terms of generation  and distribution  of electricity .
The Minister admitted that aside from the  violation  of the law inherent in assuming  false ownership  and giving futile orders,  there was the dangerous risk of  creating   a  potential  rash  of litigation to stop the discos  from  realising  revenue  for  sold  services both now  and in the past. Especially from government institutions, which   have become  brazen  debtors to  discos , which  are  privately  owned  by equally  patriotic and hard  working  Nigerian businessmen  and investors ? In addition, the  Minister  harped on the fact  that the  discos  charged cost  reflective tariffs  approved  by law  and it would  be  immoral for  government  to  ask  the  discos  not  to  take  money  for  services  rendered .
Indeed to support the Minister on this  stance  was  the advice he  offered Nigerians when  the Senate  summoned him  earlier  in the year to explain  the new  electricity  tariffs approved  for the discos by the Electricity  Regulation  Commission of  Nigeria  .
Unfortunately, the Nigeran Senate stopped the new tariff increase   rather wrongly. The Minister said   then that the increased electricity tariffs were like bitter quinine, which ultimately will make life better for any patient or victim of Malaria. That example was very apt and instructive but the Senate ignored it then and electricity generation and distribution took a nosedive even before the vandalisation reached the present uncontrollable situation. If you add to that the fact that the union leaders asked Nigerians to strike on the new tariffs in electricity along side the fuel price hike of N145 then you must admit   that it was indeed honorable of the Minister to say publicly that it would be immoral to blame the discos for poor electricity supply as the unions had done so unpatriotically.

Gbadamosi, an engineer, wrote   from Iseyin, Oyo State

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: