The Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), Mr Sunday Oduntan, has assured that Distribution Companies (DisCos) and the federal government will tackle the challenges affecting retail electricity distribution in the country.
Oduntan in a statement he issued over the weekend in Abuja said the FG and the DisCos remained committed to working together in order to address current challenges of retail electricity distribution.
He said commitment by the DisCos and FG was demonstrated by the recent Siemens initiative and recent regulatory activities.
According to him, the ongoing Meter Asset Providers (MAP) programme is another collaborative effort of the DisCos and the federal government.
“The distribution franchise consultations, the present wrap-up of the minor electricity tariff reviews, among others to provide affordable and consistent power supply for electricity customers are such collaborative efforts.
“It is the hope and expectation of the DisCos that collectively, the aforementioned initiatives and activities in tandem with respect for sanctity of contracts, increased regulatory and policy certainty, will provide the enabling environment.
“That will result in a Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) that is commercially viable and sustainable, thereby, attracting the desperately needed investment that continues to be elusive in the sector,” he said.
Oduntan described as sensational a recent report that the government plans to repossess the DisCos by paying the investors N736 billion to investors.
He said the report itself clarified that to do so within the provisions of the Share Sale Agreement would require a sum in the region of 2.4 billion dollars (about N736 billion), some of which would be paid as compensation to the investors.
“This is not a desirable outcome. It is noteworthy that government is yet to pay the investor in Yola DisCo for its negotiated return to government,” ruling out the possibility of such a renationalization,” he said.
Oduntan said there were doubts about the document on which the report was based, adding that such sensationalism could scare future investors from the economy.
“We are troubled that a sector that is already bedeviled with multiple challenges now has to deal with sensationalism and irresponsible journalism rather than an informed discussion of how we can move the sector forward,” he said.