The state Chairman of Licenced Electrical Contractors Association of Nigeria (LECAN), Bada Olalekan, has accused Electricity Distribution Companies (Discos) in Nigeria of deviating from their responsibility of providing free meters to Nigeria as agreed with the federal government.
Olalekan made this statement while speaking with THISDAY at the 60th anniversary celebration of the association at the weekend in Lagos.
According to him, “The privatisation of the electricity sector came up in 2015. It was divided into different sectors, the generation sector, the transmission sector and the distribution sector, which is the closest sector to the users of electricity.
“What I understand is that the sectors have deviated from what they were assigned for, and that is the major cause of what we are experiencing now. Otherwise, I don’t think there is any reason for any customer to pay for the meter.”
Olalekan said the distribution companies were supposed to be responsible for procuring the meter for their customers, as the meter is measuring equipment aimed at ascertaining consumer consumption of power.
He said: “That should be the rate or value of what he or she is supposed to pay. But the arrangement has been deviated also by the federal government who privatised this sector, and still holding to the generation and transmission company, while they only privatised the distribution company.”
The association boss said the federal government was also to blame for this deviation, as there was a disconnect between what the discos pay to buy power and what they make from selling same to the public eventually.
He said: “So what the distribution companies are lamenting about is that, most of the time, they don’t get an equal value of what they pay to the government to buy power, from the people.
“This is the reason why the door is opened for them to cheat their customers through estimated billings. The government needs to do the needful for the populace.”
Olalekan also lamented the proliferation of quacks in the electricity installation ecosystem, saying they are mostly responsible for fire outbreaks in homes and offices caused by electrical faults across the country.
“This has been our major challenge, because they are causing loss of lives and property. Hardly a week in Nigeria you wouldn’t hear of a fire incident caused by electrical faults.
“Imagine a property worth over N70 million going ablaze overnight due to an electricity fault. These are some issues associated with contracting quacks to install electricity in houses,” he said.
He, therefore, called on the government to help in enlightening members of the public, and forming a better collaboration with LECAN in order to sensitise the public on the dangers of employing electricians not certified by LECAN to install their power.