‘How Eight Discos Escaped Licence Revocation’

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Peter Uzoho

Fresh facts have emerged as to how eight out of the 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos) were able to escape the withdrawal of their licences by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

In October last year, the NERC had served the Discos notices of intention to cancel their distribution licences for allegedly breaching
provisions of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA) 2005; terms and conditions of their respective distribution licences; and the 2016 to 2018 minor review of the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) and Minimum Remittance Order for 2019.

The affected Discos included Abuja; Benin; Enugu; Ikeja; Kaduna; Kano; Port Harcourt; and Yola.
They were however given 60 days to show cause why their licences should not be revoked, and the deadline expired last month.

However, speaking on ‘The Morning Show,’ a programme monitored on Arise Television, a THISDAY sister broadcast station on Monday, the Director, Research and Advocacy, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), Mr. Sunday Oduntan, said none of the Discos their operating licences because they showed cause why it should not be revoked as requested by the regulator.

He explained: “Again, the regulator has power under the law, which empowers them to regulate the industry, to take certain action in accordance with the law.
“What they did was that they asked us to show cause, and we have shown cause. In the course of showing cause, they have seen reasons why certain things are the way they are, and I can assure you that a lot of those things they also considered while reviewing the tariff.

“The issue of ministries, departments and agencies debts is one of them; the issue of generation cost is one of them. I won’t go to all those technicalities here, but I just want you to understand it.”

Speaking further, he said: “But the truth of the matter is when the order was reeled out and some media organisations went out, saying they are going to take the licences, and all that, we chose not to say anything, because we knew that what they asked us to do was to show cause why the licence should not be revoked, and we have shown cause why that licence or those licences should not be revoked.

“Sixty days has passed, no licence has been revoked so far, which means that they understand, they now see why certain things are done in certain way. That was what I said when I was talking about bread. You cannot talk about efficiency without talking about the price”.