Restructuring of DISCOS: Group seeks protection of  electricity consumers’ rights

Tue, Jul 12, 2022
By editor


ASSOCIATION for Public Policy Analysis (APPA), a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) has urged the Federal Government to put measures in place to protect the rights of electricity consumers.

The National President of APPA, Mr Princewill Okorie said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.

Okorie spoke against the backdrop on the recent plan by  Fidelity Bank to take over the boards of Kano, Benin and Kaduna Distribution Companies (DISCOs) and to collateralise their shares.

NAN reports that the Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), Mr Alex Okoh, and the Executive Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Mr Sanusi Garba said this in a joint statement issued in Abuja recently.

“Today, we were informed by Fidelity Bank that they have activated the call on the collateralised shares of Kano, Benin and Kaduna (Fidelity and AFREXIM) DISCOs.

“They have also initiated action to take over the Boards of these DISCOs and exercise the rights on the shares,” the statement read in parts.

Okorie said that there was the need for the  Federal Government to set up a committee to monitor consumer interest following the development.

”What had been existing all this while is that section 80 and 81 of the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act has been silent.

”We found out that implementation of section 80 and 81 of the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act that deal with electricity consumer protection and licensee performance standards are not well enforced.

“You see a situation where consumers pay for electricity not supplied and their rights abused.

”If the bank want to recover their money, the consumers also want to recover the money that they have been cheated for,” he said.

Okorie called on the  Consumer  Protection Council and the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) to ensure everything was done to protect electricity consumers.

He also appealed to power stakeholders to ensure stable power supply to reduce cost of production of goods and services.

According to him, most of the businesses in the country depends on generators and this has made production cost to be high.

”I am appealing to all stakeholders in the power sector to do everything possible to ensure stable power supply to reduce the cost of production of goods and services, ” he said.

NAN, however, reports Vigeo Power Limited, a majority shareholder of Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), had sought an order from the Federal High Court in Abuja restraining Fidelity Bank and other co-defendants from taking over BEDC.

Ascending to the order, this is pending hearing and determination of the motion on notice dated July 8, 2022 (NAN)