Femi Ogbonnikan in Abeokuta
Electricity distribution companies in Nigeria under the aegis of the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) have stated that without credible census figures of all Nigerians, uninterrupted power supply will remain impossible.
Speaking yesterday in Abeokuta, Ogun State at a stakeholdersâ€™ forum with the theme, â€œEstimated billings, Inability to Provide Prepaid Meters, Non-compliance with National Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) Regulations and Erratic Power Supply in Ogun State by IBEDC and IKEDCâ€, organised by the state House of Assembly, the Executive Director of ANED, Mr. Sunday Oduntan, absolved the Discos from being responsible for the epileptic power supply in the country.
He said the country would require to generate, at least, 180,000 megawatts of electricity to ensure stable and adequate power supply.
He noted that power generation in the country is too low, adding that unless the federal government steps up efforts at ensuring the generation of more megawatts to meet up with the needs of Nigerians every other effort would amount to an exercise in futility.
Oduntan said that South Africa, with a population figure of 67 million, is currently generating 48,000 megawatts against 39,000 megawatts the country needs and decried Nigeriaâ€™s failure to generate at least 20,000 megawatts.
He, however, commended the present administration for increasing power generation to 5,150 megawatts, the highest in the country since 1980, but took a swipe at the growing increase of corruption in the power sector that has remained unabated.
On meter distribution to consumers, Oduntan, disclosed that 4.1 million meter gap had been identified, adding that N295 billion would be needed by Discos to provide both three-phase prepaid and postpaid meters at the rate of N73,000 per unit.
In her remark, the Executive Secretary, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Ogun State chapter, Mrs Motunrayo Elegberun, explained that manufacturers could not succeed without electricity.
â€œIBEDC (Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company) should stop the incessant increment in bills being given to people. We want them to assist us. Some of us are now using Gas, some using diesel. By the time a manufacturer produces at high cost, it will surely lead to high cost which is not too good for our economy, â€œshe said.
Earlier in his welcome address, Speaker of the state House of Assembly Hon. Suraj Adekunbi, explained the rationale behind the forum, noting that it was organised by the House to give opportunity to various stakeholders, to air their views on the issue of electricity supply.
Adekunbi added that the input of all and sundry was needed by the present administration in its effort to ensure that the masses enjoy commensurate service for their financial commitments to power sector.