Electricity supply: Nigerian Senate threatens to sanction defaulting companies

Senator says companies have no excuses for poor power supply.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Privatisation, Olugbenga Obadara, has said that Electricity Distribution Companies that are slow in improving their facilities to ensure steady power supply will be sanctioned.

Mr. Obadara gave the warning during a visit to Port Harcourt Distribution Company, PHED, on Wednesday as part of the committee’s fact finding mission to some of the nation’s privatised companies.

He said that distribution companies were aware of the enormous challenges confronting the sector before investing in it.

“The committee will not fail to sanction companies which thought that since they had acquired the companies; that they could sit and rest. These companies were aware of the monumental decay in the power sector, and so, rather than excuses, the companies have to show commitment and determination to improve the sector. Power belongs to Nigerians and it is their rights too, and so, companies have to wake up and work harder to provide better services to the people,” he said.

Mr. Obadara said that PHED had made remarkable progress in distributing steady electricity supply to Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River and Rivers despite bureaucratic bottlenecks and vandalisation of its facilities.

He said the committee would make legislations that would strengthen and enable distribution companies to distribute electricity provided to them by generation companies.

The chairman urged PHED to introduce a programme that would offer customers who regularly paid their electricity bills the opportunity to win prizes such as cars and mobile phones.

“Customers knowing that they stand a chance of winning prizes when they pay regular electricity bills will not hesitate to meet their bills as at when due,” he said.

The Managing Director of 4Power Consortium, owners of PHED, Matthew Edevbie, said the company was considering leaving Akwa Ibom.

Mr. Edevbie said the six months agreement the company had with its 1,530 workforce had elapsed, and as such, was carrying a competence-assessment process to determine which workers to retain and those to be retrenched.

He called on the committee to make legislations that would enforce government agencies to pay electricity bills quickly, and legislate against aggressive behaviours towards staff of the electricity company.

(NAN)

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