Electricity distributors commit to tackling challenges

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The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), has restated the commitment of Distribution Companies (DisCos) to tackle challenges affecting electricity distribution and flayed reports of plan to re-possess the firms.

Mr Sunday Oduntan , the Executive Director, Research and Advocacy of ANED made this known in a statement in Abuja on Sunday.

Oduntan said the Federal Government and the DisCos remained committed to working together in order to address current challenges of retail electricity distribution.

He said commitment by the DisCos and Federal Government was demonstrated by the recent Siemens initiative and recent regulatory activities.

According to him, the ongoing Meter Asset Providers (MAP) programme is another collaborative effort of the Federal Government and the DisCos.

“The distribution franchise consultations, the present wrap-up of the minor electricity tariff reviews, among others to provide affordable and consistent power supply for electricity customers are such collaborative efforts.

“It is the hope and expectation of the DisCos that collectively, the aforementioned initiatives and activities in tandem with respect for sanctity of contracts, increased regulatory and policy certainty, will provide the enabling environment.

“That will result in a Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) that is commercially viable and sustainable, thereby, attracting the desperately needed investment that continues to be elusive in the sector,” he said.

Reacting to a recent  report on government trying to pay N736 billion to investors to repossess the DisCos, Oduntan described  it as sensational.

He said the report itself clarified that to do so within the provisions of the Share Sale Agreement would require a sum in the region of 2.4 billion dollars (about N736 billion), some of which would  be paid as compensation to the investors.

“This is not a desirable outcome. It is noteworthy that government is yet to pay the investor in Yola DisCo for its negotiated return to government,” ruling out the possibility of such a renationalisation.”

Oduntan said there were doubts about the document on which the report was based, adding that such sensationalism could scare future investors from the economy.

“We are troubled that a sector that is already bedeviled with multiple challenges now has to deal with sensationalism and irresponsible journalism rather than an informed discussion of how we can move the sector forward,” he said.