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FG threatens to dump DISCOs over inefficiency

...Says DISCOs have failed -- FG ....As Power privatization faces dilemma

Federal government on Wednesday threatened to dump the power distribution companies over epileptic power supply, blaming current epileptic power supply on the inability of distribution companies DISCOs to distribute stranded power

The Minister, while lamenting that federal government has injected as much as N1.74tr to help the distribution sector, said “ government cannot continue to lose money”

Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman, while briefing State House Correspondents after the weekly federal Executive Council FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, revealed that government cannot continues to subsidize the DISCOS.

The Minister said his Ministry has already forwarded a memo to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to decide the fate of electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) that have failed to honour their commitments to buy and distribute adequate power generated for them by the generation companies (GENCOs)

He disclosed that while it has capacity to generate 13,000 megawatts, Transmission Companies can only take 7,000 megawatts, while Distribution Companies distribute only 3000 megawatts to Nigerians and in return , pays for only 1000 megawatts

“ We have the capacity to generate 13,000megawatts, but Transformation Company can only transmit 7, 000 megawatts, but the DISCOs take only 3000 megawatts and pay government money for just 1000 megawatts”

“ We cannot continue to subsidize power distribution, so I have made recommendations to FEC on the next line of action.”

He explained that the DISCOs do not evacuate all of the about 13,000 megawatts generated by the GENCOs, and while 7,000 megawatts out of this is transmitted, the GENCOs manage to eventually pay for only 15 percent of the 3,000 megawatts they are able to distribute.

The implication is technical and economic losses as the GENCOs don’t get value for the electricity they generate and the end consumers also do not get adequate electricity despite the output of the GENCOs, the Minister said.

Although he declined to give details of his recommendations to FEC, Mamman stressed that in view of the situation, the DISCOs may have to quit and give way to more capable operators if they are not able to fulfil their obligations as agreed with government.

 

Tony Ailemen, Abuja

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