Bill Or Power Distribution?


Over the years, one
pandemic that has consistently tortured the Nigerian environment is the epileptic power supply. Nigerians have desired, dreamed and imagined when the there will be normalcy in its power system. Electricity is one vital social infrastructure that has eluded the society for a very long time.
Different administrations have come up with different unrealistic measures or speeches rather, one how to improve the electric power system in the country.
From information which are verifiable, it is gathered that the privatization of this sector has helped so many countries to stand on their feet. Little wonder then why the Nigerian factor is defeling solution. But one thing worthy of note here is that privatization in other countries has been total and genuine hence the positive results.
The Nigerian Society is always good at copying but the wrong and negative side of the copy. When the Federal government came up with the idea of disbanding the P.H.C.N and handing over the function to different distribution, many thought that the long awaited relief has finally came but unfortunately the evil drugs are yet to be over.
The first pointer to the fact that nothing good may come out of Nazeret is when the handing over of the PHCN duties and functions to these distribution includes the laying off of the workers, thus presenting the government that boasted of creating jobs as a generator of unemployment.
In progressing economies, the presence of multiple operators in a sector naturally triggers competition which will pave way or metamorphous into efficiency for better and enhanced productivity.
The Nigerian situation is a far cry from the above. What we have here is a compendium of operators with just one target; ‘to maximize profit with no service vendered’.
The multiple distribution was created so as to give room for healthy competition, and making allowance for choices among consumers. This was since to be achieved by these companies first working on the renovation and upgrading of facilities in their domain or area of operation so that when this improvement in service delivery gets to the consumers it will be easier and simple convincing them to reciprocate with an increased tariff.
What is obtainable today is a situation where the tariff rises astronomically without any complimenting improvement. The estimated bill system which is a complete fraud now goes for about 10,000 naira. To 30,000 as against 4,000 in the past.
The metering which is the ideal one authentic recording method for electric power consumption has been completely thrown overboard. No power company official visits any house to access the meter any more. Bills are indiscriminately calculated and written at the discretion of whoever heads a station.
The only thing that is done perfectly and with extreme vigour is the distribution of unacceptable and fraudulent Bills to every nooks and crannies of the town including uncompleted and unoccupied  buildings. The question is: Are these companies meant to distribute electricity or just the Bills? Perhaps the answer will help us appreciate them better.
In my own opinion, I would like to suggest that for better service delivery in the area of electricity distribution, these distribution companies must make a radical departure from the dormant old system of the former power providing companies (NEPA & PHCN). This they could do by seeing to the updating and upgrading of electrical facilities like cables (high tension and step down) poles etc on regular periodic basis.
Provision and maintenance of Transformers Compulsory and timely installation of metres to every house as well as regular and consistent reading of the metres so as to check for proper power consumption and also replacement of faulty metres. They should also work out modalities of assisting in the generation of megawatts.
When these and may be others have been put into place and the desired “constant” power achieved, then the increment in tariff can be welcomed by the consumers.


Rollingstone Francis