Amidst public outcry over the recent increase in electricity tariff, Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC) yesterday, said that the distribution companies do not deserve any tariff increment for their inefficient and nontransparent iservices and operations.
Speaking to Daily Sun, in Abuja, President of SSAEAC, Dr Chris Okonkwo, said that unless Nigerians can verified that the DisCos have 100 per cent collection efficiency, any tariff hike would be highly unnecessary.
“Our union’s position is that the DisCos are inefficient and non transparent in their operations, to attract higher tariff. Until such a time it can be verified that they have 100 per cent collection efficiency, otherwise it will amount to rewarding inefficiency by transferring its consequence to electricity consumerss”. he said.
This is coming as President Muhammadu Buhari the First Year Ministerial Performance Review Retreat in Abuja, corroborated the Union’s assertion when he stated that in spite of the N1.7 trillion injected in the power sector, the industry has remained in the doldrums.
“Let me say frankly that like many Nigerians I have been very unhappy about the quality of service given by the DisCos, but there are many constraints including poor transmission capacity and distribution capacity. I have already signed off on the first phase of the Siemens project to address many of these issues.
“Because of the problems with the privatisation, government has had to keep supporting the largely privatised electricity industry. So far, to keep the industry going we have spent almost 1.7 trillion, especially by way of supplementing tariffs shortfalls. We do not have the resources at this point to continue in this way and it will be grossly irresponsible to borrow to subsidise a generation and distribution which are both privatised” Buhari explained.
However, it was reported that President Muhammadu Buhari increased both the electricity tariff and pump price of petrol to enable him access the $3 billion World Bank loan for the expansion of the power transmission and distribution networks in the country.
Speaking with newsmen on the outcome of Nigeria’s participation at the annual meetings of the World Bank/International Monetary Fund in Washington DC, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said the loan would be disbursed in four tranches of $750 million each, beginning from next year (2020).
World Bank had told the Federal Government that the loan can only be accessed if the electricity tariff, pump price of fuel and other conditionalities were met.