Nigeria: CSOs Blame Huge Financial Deficit in Power Sector on Non-Paying Customers

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The Network of Nigeria Civil Society Organisations have blamed the huge financial deficit in the power sector on nonpayment of services received by users of electricity.

The organization said power distributors in the country have not captured many users of electricity who do not pay for the service they get from power distribution companies (DISCOs).

Director-General, NNCSOs, Agbonkpolor Splendor, stated this in a paper that he presented in Abuja, on Wednesday.

He called on DISCOs to intensify effort in the enumeration of electricity consumers nationwide in order to establish the actual number of power users across the country.

Splendor explained that it was not completely true that Nigerians hardly pay for the electricity they consume.

He said “Nigerians want to and are willing to pay for light or electricity, but the truth is that they can’t get it as expected. Also, it is important to state that the government should be making money from electricity, not just the power firms.

“But how can this be without proper enumeration of power users across the country? This is why we are calling for increased power consumers’ enumeration by the distribution companies. This is very important and should be taken seriously.”

He stressed that until Nigeria gets the power sector right, “nothing will be right.”

“As a matter of fact, electricity is the main power for the future. Therefore there is nothing that we wish for or desire as a nation that will be achieved in continuous darkness,” he stated.

He noted that the Niger Delta Power Holding Company limited was set up as a fast track power sector infrastructure company, adding that despite the feats achieved by the firm, Nigeria’s electricity industry was still far from the desired target.

He stated that so far, the NDPHC had completed over 4,000MW of its originally designed capacity, representing 80 per cent of its mandate.

“The NDPHC has a mandate to manage the power projects under the National Integrated Power Projects scheme of the three tiers of government. This in our view is an emergency intervention scheme to tackle the deficit and expand power sector across Nigeria.

“The agency has a key mandate to develop 10 power plants with a designed capacity of over 5,067 megawatts among other critical projects. Eight of the 10 power plants in the NIPP portfolio that are to support commercial operations have been inaugurated and connected to the national grid,” he said.

He urged stakeholders in the sector to support the NDPHC in building a future where electricity for all would become a reality.

SOURCE: THE NATION

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