Electricity Distribution Companies (Discos) in Nigeria on Wednesday said that they had recorded revenue shortfall of over N300 billion post privatisation.
They appealed to all power consumers, including government agencies, to pay their debts promptly.
Mr Sunday Oduntan, the Executive Director of Association of Nigeria Electricity Distributors (ANED), disclosed this in Lagos while speaking on behalf of Chief Executive Officers of electricity distribution companies.
Oduntan said that the revenue shortfall had adversely impacted on the ability of the discos to make capital investment in metering, network expansion, equipment rehabilitation and replacement that were critical to service delivery improvement.
“This is a cash crisis that threatens to completely undermine the electricity value chain and ability to continue to serve consumers.
“MDAs (Ministry, Department and Agency) debts plus interest now stands at N93 billion. The power industry cannot survive with this mounting debt in addition to the dearth of foreign exchange,’’ he said.
The executive director said that shortage of foreign exchange was also contributing negatively to aggregate industry performance.
“The ability of the industry to meet its service delivery obligation is severely constrained by lack of access to foreign exchange.”
Oduntan also said that vandalism of gas pipelines had led to massive drop in power generation.
“Shortage of gas leads to low power generation. Low generation and poor transmission facilities lead to low distribution.
“Therefore, the discos should not be blamed for poor power supply because we cannot give what we don’t have’,” he said.
Oduntan said that low power generation had prevented the discos from collecting sufficient revenues to maintain and improve the network, while it had also robbed customers of the needed power supply.
“Only 25 per cent of the total collections belongs to the discos, but when the customers don’t pay, the whole sector is affected,” he said.
Oduntan said that after the privatisation of the sector, metering gap had reduced drastically to 2.8 million as 3.3 million were customers now metered.
“The current number of metered customers has now brought down the metering gap of customers in the country.’’
Other achievements, according to him, include improved meter roll-out strategies, better accounting for energy received, improved customer care centers, introduction of new billing system and information technology.