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Covid-19: Free Electricity As Palliative To Nigerians Maybe Unrealistic - CAACAS - Nairaland / General - Nairaland

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Covid-19: Free Electricity As Palliative To Nigerians Maybe Unrealistic - CAACAS by OgatelCYMS(m): 4:22pm On Apr 18, 2020
Covid-19: Free Electricity As Palliative To Nigerians Maybe Unrealistic - CAACASVI

The Executive Director, Citizens Awareness Against Corruption and Social Vices Initiative (CAACASVI), Comrade Olumuyiwa Onlede has yesterday voiced out his doubt on the possible implementation of the purported free electricity as palliative promised by the federal government to Nigerians to cushion the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja following the recent complaints of some citizens for two months free power supply during in this trying time of global pandemic to ease the citizenry.

Onlede said, in as much as we feel the pain of Nigerians due to the negative impact of the lockdown which is necessary, we make bold to say that to alleviate the suffering of the people there are other ways to give palliative to the citizens. Those of the view that power should be free for two months should have put their statement right by saying that federal government should pay for two months power for Nigerians so as not to put a burden on the regulators in the power sector.

We should recall how the former government led by President Goodluck Jonathan handed over the nation critical power asset to friends and associates for political gain and knowing full well that those acclaimed investors has no experience, capacity and financial weight to run the power sector efficiently thereby putting Nigerians who are the electricity consumers not to enjoy the dividend of privatisation of the sector. But the acclaimed investors who are the former president’s party men continue to rip off the masses by refusing to invest in the sector thereby putting the whole bulk of load on the Federal government to shoulder.

It is however possible to have free electricity but government has to buy it from the DISCOS and give it to Nigerians because it belongs to them and not federal government and you cannot give what you don’t have. But these investors especially the Distribution company of Nigeria (DISCO) continue to show irresponsible attitude towards the federal government agenda of improving electricity supply to Nigerians, after several bailout from federal government to DISCOS and after federal government huge investment in increasing power generation from over 3000 MW to over 7000MW DISCOS continue to reject this load of power that ordinarily will be distributed to Nigerians so as to improve our SME and life of the people.

So while talking about the news of free electricity that is trending all over media for some days now, it is also good to clear the air about the workings of the power sector as it stands today. And we will like to align with the submission of the MD/CEO of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and make it clear that power does not belong to the federal government GENCOS and DISCOS belong to private investors and not government and what government does is to regulate the sector just as we have it with the telecommunication sector.

We must however commend the present administration for the role they have played since its inception in 2015, while appealing to Nigerians to look towards another means of palliative and let us hope the effort of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) will be complimented by DISCOS who distributes the electricity to consumers and give optimal service to the masses during this lockdown and even beyond. According to our investigation and finding about the power sector from 1999 till date, we discovered that what is lacking is sincerity of purpose considering the huge amount of money that has been expended on the sector. But lately we found out that there is no shortage of effort on the part of those at the helm of affair in the sector right now to bring sanity to the sector by increasing generation from over 3000MW to over 7000MW as we earlier mentioned, but that is not going to be easy due to the decay of yester years in the sector and the fact that some still believe in business as usual thereby frustrating government effort to improve power in Nigeria.

He also said that the attitude of power sector investors begs the question that resonate in the mind of Nigerians that are knowledgeable about the sector, where is their corporate social responsibilities especially at this time of pandemic that has dwindled the economy of the nation, it is incumbent on the DISCOS to see how they can alleviate the suffering of the masses at this COVID 19 period just like we see other corporate entities in other sectors giving palliative to citizens, these are our concern about the stakeholders that the federal government must deal with if anything called free electricity must come to reality.

And urged those promoting the agenda of free electricity not to be carried away with the current situation that we find ourselves in the country but to also look at the pros and cons of that kind of policy or ventures so as not to fall victim of DISCOS whose agenda from beginning of their relationship with the power sector in 2013 has been the kind of relationship that exist between the horse and the rider with Nigeria electricity consumers being the horse and the DISCOS being the rider.

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