Stakeholders in the power sector have called on the Federal Government to fulfill its 40 per cent funding to electricity distribution companies (DISCOS) to enable them function effectively.
The stakeholders were reacting to reports that government was considering repossession of the 10 DISCOS as one of the options to rescue the nation’s troubled electricity sector.
This is coming ahead of the scheduled final performance review of the private firms that bought into the distribution companies, carved out from the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
According to experts, government will require up to $2.4 billion (N736 billion) to repossess the privatised distribution assets from the core investors, if it finally takes the decision.
Chairman Ikeja Electric Mr Kola Adesina urged government to give cost-reflective tariff to revamp the sector.
Adesina said the inability of government to provide funding for its own 40 per cent stake also contributed to the ineffectiveness of the DISCOS.
He called on government to ensure clarity in regulatory framework, adding that there was need for government to ensure prompt payment of Ministries, Department and Agencies’ (MDAs) debts.
According to him, government needs to ensure symmetry in the value chain and align tariff to fiscal regimes.
“Government has failed to deliver on its own part, and went to sign expensive power with Azura and 7energy, in a market that is cost-ineffective.
“Government’s changing rules and policies everyday are also not helping the sector,” Adesina said.
Also, Chairman, Light up Nigeria, Mr Adetayo Adegbenro, said there was actually no need for government to continue to meddle with the semi-private sector.
Adegbenro stated that what the government ought to have done was to fulfill all the contractual terms that came with its 40 per cent stake in the DISCOS.
He also said government ought to have focused on actually forming a Board of Directors that reflected the corporate representation of the DISCOS.
The power expert described the call to review the sector, especially through sale by government, as ‘focusing on the wrong end of the stick’.
“How well has the regulatory body performed? How truly independent is the regulatory commission?
“For as long as we refuse to get the regulations wrong, there is no amount of reviews that will yield”, he said. (NAN)