DisCos supporting FG to clear power supply hurdles, says ANED

The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) has said the Distribution Companies (DisCos) are supporting the federal government in clearing the challenges affecting retail electricity distribution.

A statement by the Executive Director, Research & Advocacy of ANED, High Chief Sunday Oduntan, also further dismissed a media report that the federal government will pay N736 billion to investors to repossess the DisCos.

He quoted the report of August 14, 2019, saying that it was a ‘solution’ to resolving the power supply problem.

ANED said the article referenced a purported document from the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.

Oduntan, however, dismissed the claim and identified efforts at resetting the power sector.

“The federal government and the DisCo investors remain committed to working in partnership to address the current challenges of retail electricity distribution, as evidenced by the recent Siemens initiative and recent regulatory activities,” he said.

He said other efforts that proved the collaboration of DisCos and the government included the ongoing Meter Asset Providers (MAP) programme, the distribution franchise consultations, the present wrap-up of the minor electricity tariff reviews, among others to provide affordable and consistent power supply for electricity customers.

“It is the hope and expectation of the DisCo investors and operators that, collectively, the aforementioned initiatives and activities, in tandem with respect for sanctity of contract, increased regulatory and policy certainty, will provide the enabling environment that will result in a Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) that is commercially viable and sustainable, thereby attracting the desperately needed investment that continues to be elusive in the sector,” he noted.

Reacting to the media report on government trying to pay N736bn to investors to repossess the DisCos, ANED described the headline as sensational.

It said the report itself ruled out renationalisation and clarified that paying off the DisCos was not a desirable outcome as government was yet to pay the investor in Yola DisCo for returning the assets.

“We are troubled that a sector that is already bedevilled with multiple challenges now has to deal with sensationalist and irresponsible journalism rather than an informed discussion of how we can move the sector forward,” Oduntan noted.

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