Nigerians Don’t Pay Electricity Bill Because They’re Frustrated—TCN

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has accused electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) operating in the country of frustrating the consumers, resulting in their non-payment of energy bill as expected.

Managing Director of the TCN, Mr Usman Gur Mohammed, who made this allegation while explaining why his firm sanctioned some Discos recently, stated that the actions of some DISCOs do not align with the laid down regulations of the Market Conditions/Market Participation Agreements.

Mr Mohammed accused the electricity distribution firms of refusing “to put prepaid meters in some places, [but] supply them energy for few hours and charge them on filthy charges (estimated billing or crazy billing).”

According to him, “All these claims that poor people don’t pay are all lies,” pointing out that “There is no relationship between poverty and payment of electricity bill. What the poor needs is adequate power supply, meter and give him the choice to switch on/off as he pleases.”

He said that the non-availability of these options has led to frustration on the part of electricity consumers, who have revolted by not paying up the exorbitant electricity bills and also indulge in illegal connections.

“The reality is that we have been gaming the market. People are frustrated and when frustrated, they can use several means to punish us, including refusing to pay, tapping the meters,” the TCN chief said.

He also noted that erring DISCOs have been punished for not fulfilling the agreement, noting that the TCN had in the last few weeks issued suspension and disconnection orders against Port-Harcourt, Kano, Enugu, Eko, and Ikeja DISCOs over allegations of infraction of market rules.

The body, however, lifted the suspension on Enugu, Eko, and Ikeja DISCOs after they complied with the market conditions/participation agreement while Port-Harcourt and Kano DisCos are still on suspension.

On the way forward to improving electricity in the country, The Director said, “We are not just putting capacity; we are also adding redundancy for electricity to be stable. Electricity stability requires what we called redundancy and the least you can is N-1 which means any place where they need 60KvA, you will give them 60KvA x 2 and that is what we are doing under the programme.”

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