Ending Power Distribution Disparities in Nigeria
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During the days of the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) and the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), it was common and accepted knowledge that there were areas, settlements, in Nigeria that continually and consistently enjoyed better electricity supply than others. Strangely however, this trend has not abated with the emergence of “private” electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos); the traditionally favored areas are still favored in electricity supply distribution.
Many Nigerians have wondered why this is so and while various answers have been provided, none has been tenable. Why do we say the answers are not sufficient? Because as Monopolies, DisCos cannot unilaterally make decisions on supplying one area more electricity than another.
For instance supplying more electricity to areas that are better metered is not the fault of the areas that are not well metered, this is a failing of the DisCos. Supplying electricity to areas close to power stations is also unacceptable because the residents of areas without power stations did not make the decision not to establish power stations in their areas.
One way we believe this “supply discrimination” can be stopped is ensuring transparency in the distribution of electricity supply by DisCos. This transparency can be fostered by the use of appropriate regulations by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
To this end, we suggest an Electricity Supply Distribution Reporting regulation that mandates the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and all DisCos to publish periodically the electricity supply distribution across the local governments and areas under the DisCos’ coverage. The periodicity of the report will be determined by the NERC but should preferably not be longer than monthly.
The advantages of TCN and DisCos publishing these periodic reports are:
- The favored areas will be easily identifiable and the right questions can be asked on the reason for the favoritism.
- People looking for accommodation can make better judgements on where to beam their searchlight to better manage their cost of living.
- Areas with poor supply can make a case to the right quarters for improved supply.
- Since the report will be public knowledge, the Discos will have to come clean about the reasons some areas are favored and other neglected.
The end game of this petition is to ensure that, by demanding transparency through the periodic reports, electricity supply is equitable for all Nigerians.
This is our petition, this is our request.
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