Reps beam searchlight on power sector as consumers sweat


House of Representatives on Tuesday mandated the Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation to investigate the investments and pledges of the Power Distribution Companies (DISCOs) and Generation Companies (GENCOs).

Following the adoption of the motion titled ‘Need to stop the indiscriminate exploitation of citizens by GENCOs and DISCOs, sponsored by Muktar Dandutse, the House directed the Committee to ascertain the revenue accrued to the companies and their level of compliance with the privatisation agreements.

Similarly, the lawmakers also urged Babatunde Fashola, minister of power, works and housing, to collaborate with relevant agencies to ensure immediate amelioration of the hardships being experienced by the people.

In his lead debate, Dandutse expressed concern over the prevailing situation after the take over of privatised Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) by the successor companies.

He said “the DISCOs particularly charge arbitrary bills, not minding whether there is outage or not. The House is concerned that there have been practically no new investments by these companies, and transformers, fallen electricity poles, prepaid meters and other basic infrastructure are still being replaced or provided by the states, local governments, communities and individuals.

“The House is aware that customers are being charged flat rates, which is unjustifiable in this austere period, a situation that is bringing untold hardships on the people. The House is worried that unqualified personnel are being allowed to handle electrical infrastructure, which increases the risks of electrocution and also leads to damages to the existing infrastructure.”

The lawmaker also expressed disgust that “these unwholesome practices are retarding the overall progress and development of the country, given that money expended on such infrastructure by communities and individuals could have been used to service other needs.”

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