Worried by the state of electricity supply in the country, workers in the sector have urged the Federal Government to review the licences and performance of the electricity distribution companies (DisCos).
Acting under the aegis of Nigeria Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), the workers expressed worry that since the core investors took over the privatised electricity assets on November 1, 2013, their performances have been abysmal. Nigerians, they lamented, have had to bear the burden of paying outrageous /estimated bills for electricity never supplied. The workers said the DisCos have been getting away with the fraud because they wilfully refused to provide prepaid meters to their customers.
Its President, Comrade Joe Ajaero said the firms, which were due for final performance review since October 31, 2018 being the fifth year anniversary of their take-over of the power assets, have continued to illegally operate with flagrant disregard for the power privatisation Act.
He said it is more disturbing the involvement of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) being government’s representative on the board of these firms that have not publicly declared a kobo profit as the Federal Government’s stake in the companies for the past five years.
He said: “It has become pertinent to draw the attention of Federal Government and general public to the foundation being laid for the illegal extension of a five years performance review of nine out of 11 DisCos in the country by the Director-General of BPE, Mr. Alex Okoh.
“A good number of them have carried out their operations within the period under review without conditions of service thereby turning the workplace to slave camps where workers are being disengaged without recourse to any law.
“Some of them like Egbin power plc and Enugu DisCo have been involved in stealing monies meant for the unions. More disturbing is the involvement of the BPE being government’s representative on the board of these companies who have not publicly declared a kobo profit as the Federal Government’s stake in the companies for the past five years.
“It is quite unfortunate that some of the DisCos have even gone to the extent of rejecting load from the national grid as wheeled by the transmission company of Nigeria (TCN) yet nobody is checking this unholy act”.
He said in conducting unbiased periodic reviews of the performance of the DisCo/GenCos towards the final review of their performances come November 31, 2018, the BPE should be excluded from mid-wifing the process being members of the various boards of the power firms.
Ajaero said: “They cannot be umpires in their own games. We therefore call on the Federal Government not to renew the licences of companies that have operated with impunity and without conditions of service as the union and other civil society organisations will not allow this dastardly act continue unabated.
“We are serving a final notice to challenge the illegal extension and operation of the DisCos in the country.
“It is our candid desire that the Federal Government works with Independent bodies, the public, relevant government agencies and other stakeholders in the power sector to properly review the performance of the DisCos under the management of core investors aimed at properly evaluating their performances so far as agreed with the Federal Government five years ago.”