Electricity distribution companies said on Tuesday that the country would not be able to achieve uninterrupted electricity supply in the next five years if the challenges hampering the progress of the power sector were not addressed, Punch reports.
The Discos stated this through the Executive Director, Research, and Advocacy, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors, Mr Sunday Oduntan, at a press conference in Lagos.
Oduntan described the liquidity crisis in the sector as a major issue, stressing the need for the government to put in place a cost-reflective tariff.
He said, “There is a need for collaboration among stakeholders in the sector to proffer solutions to the problems. So, we are willing any day; if we are called today for discussions, we will be there because we know that our businesses are at risk. This is very important for all of us to note: if the Discos collapse today, many Nigerian banks will collapse too.
“In case you don’t know, when they were selling the entities, only one of the Discos had foreign direct investment. All the others borrowed money from local banks, and they paid for the assets in dollars. The point is that those who have put their money in the sector will be the first persons to wish that the system succeeds, because the failure of the system means their money is also going down the drain.”
The ANED spokesman, in an apparent response to the views expressed by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, added,
“We should not continue to politicise issues in the power sector. Whatever ANED has said so far, I implore fellow Nigerians to please check whether we are lying. Let’s discuss issues and not personalities. We have no reason to lie. For us, we have a lot of things at stake because if there is sufficient power supply, efficient distribution by us and if we do all that we are supposed to do, then we will make more money.
“So, it is in our interest for all of us to work together and find solutions to the problems of the sector. If we do that, everybody will be happy; the customers will be very happy.”
He said the issue of metering had been politicised even as the Discos expressed their willingness to support the recently introduced Meter Assets Provider Regulations.