Power distribution companies in Nigeria are not happy with the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.

Last week, Fashola briefed journalists on the status of Nigeria’s power sector at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing in Abuja and identified a lot of lapses on the part of the Discos.

But the Discos disagree completely with him.

They said on Tuesday that comments made by the minister on metering, power generation and transmission capacities and stranded electricity, among others, were significantly distorted.

In a 28-page document released in Abuja on Tuesday, the Discos responded directly to about 14 issues raised by the minister and asserted that the ministry had consistently promoted policies that had resulted in sector-wide confusion, infringed on the responsibilities of the various sector players, imposed its agenda on the regulator, compromising its independence, created lack of respect for contracts as well as distorted and redefined the law of privatisation.

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The 11 Discos, in a joint response to the minister, which was issued by the Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors, Sunday Oduntan, stated that “it is with much regret that we feel compelled to respond to the significantly distorted picture that has been painted of the electricity distribution companies by the minister in his press briefing.”

On the statement by Fashola that the Discos were responsible for the provision of meters, the power firms argued that at the 18th monthly power sector and stakeholders’ meeting on August 14, 2017, the minister stated that the supply of meters to electricity customers was not exclusive to the Discos.

The firms stated, “this is a contradiction of his convenient assertion now that customers with no meters should turn to the Discos. The metering gap, a major concern for our customers and us, unfortunately, has become a politicised issue. As a means of tracking and accounting for our revenues, there is no greater interested party in comprehensive metering than the Discos.

“With the farming out of the responsibility of metering to third party vendors under the Meter Asset Provider regulation enacted by NERC, it is our hope that the challenges of estimated billing will be minimised for our customers over time.”

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