By Sebastine Obasi
NIGERIANS may not have been told the whole truth behind the country’s inadequate power supply, as the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, has accused distribution companies, DISCOs, of deliberately sabotaging Federal Government’s efforts to improve power supply in the country.
The Minister in a chat with journalists in Lagos, said that some of the DISCOs refuse to take all the power allocated to them for onward distribution to consumers, a development that has worsened the power supply situation in Nigeria.
He wondered why distribution companies would reject power when Nigerians did not have enough to meet their needs.
He disclosed: “Do you know that some distribution companies reject power given to them? I had to make a pronouncement that if a distribution company rejects power, it will be penalised. Yes, they reject power. If I name the company, you will be shocked. It is not that they have enough because Nigerians are starving.
Paying for power
“For weeks, I was climbing the five-storey building because they starved me and other ministries. At a time, they said that we were not paying and we turned out to be the only ministry paying for power because others are not paying and everything is lumped together. Even when there is power and all the payments made, we don’t have power. So, I had to invade the company and it was when I called and looked back, I saw that they had already been noted for rejecting power,” the minister said.
Emphasizing that some of the challenges militating against adequate supply of electricity in Nigeria were deliberate attempts by some people to punish Nigerians, Nebo warned that any company that rejected power allocated to it would be sanctioned by the federal government. He added, “Since that time till now, we have been getting more steady power supply.”
He also warned against any form of monopoly and unionisation by the DISCOs, adding that any investor that wants to build mini power plants could feed it into the grid but not necessarily the transmission grid.