The Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) in Nigeria took over the distribution of electricity in a privatization exercise with the promise of providing transformers and adequate metering. Eight years down the line, electricity consumers still groan under the sledge hammer of arbitrary estimated bill.
In 2011, the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), administration led by President Goodluck Jonathan sold the electricity distribution licenses to companies that have been dubbed as incompetent and lacking experience on electricity and unconfirmed report had it that the then Minister of power; Prof. Barth Nnaji advised that it was not a good decision, sacked immediately and replaced with Prof Nebo. You remember?
This contract of sale of the electricity distribution licenses were made irrevocable but renewable. To this end power became privatized since 2011.
When the present All Progressive Congress(APC), administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari came on board, it discovered that the DISCOS were not ready to render services but to reap and recoup their investment capital immediately. The government could not repudiate the contracts because of the irrevocability clause and the doctrine of sanctity of contract. The hands of government became tied.
Then the blame is on government because the masses are unaware that power like telecommunications has been privatized by the PDP.The DISCOS started disconnecting communities from electricity supplies in the name of estimated bulk billing system.
This government stepped in and went out of its way by providing incentives such as duty waivers and credit facilities to the GENCOs. This was done to boost power generation which was less than 3000 megawatts at the time PMB took over. Today, power generation is over 7000 megawatts! And you think this is not change?
Next year, the electricity distribution licenses of the current DISCOs will expire and due for renewal. It will be a ‘mumuish’ mistake to renew the licenses of these DISCOs or their likes that have kept us in darkness for close to nine years. There is electricity but the distribution is the problem. The DISCOs are not ready to provide pre-paid metres, transformers, amongst others to consumers. The estimated billing system and bulk billing system are frauds.
These capitalist rapists that are already shivering must not be allowed to continue plundering on us. As the general election is around the corner, we must collectively get our politicians to promise us that the licenses of the likes of these DISCOs will not be renewed.
Enough of privatization of our national assets!
- Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media and ICT Consultant, Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 908 6937 780 or send i-witness report directly to me on email@example.com.