The Minster of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola on Monday called on Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) to improve their distribution networks to supply more electricity to Nigerians.
Fashola made the call at the 26th Power sector meeting hosted by Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) in Umuahia, Abia State.
He also urged the DisCos to respond swiftly to consumer complaints and resolve them in a business-like manner.
“On this last matter of consumer complaints, let me say that we are getting a number of them in the ministry in Abuja, from different parts of the country.
“They should appropriately go to the DisCos and the private investors who own them.
“Government has handed over these assets as a business and no longer collects revenue for power from consumers since the sale of PHCN in 2013.
“Those who bought the DisCos and bill consumers must rise up to the responsibility of resolving consumer complaints.’’
The minister said improvement in quality and capacity of distribution equipment would stimulate consumer willingness to pay for electricity consumed.
He also said it was germane for the DisCos to also improve collection of revenues without extortion through estimated bills or hostility and remit what they collect in accordance with the agreement with Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) plc.
He urged them to take ownership of the meter asset provider regulations to improve supply of meters.
According to the minister, DisCos should get their employees out on the field to inspect lines, breakers, transformers and other distribution equipment, especially in the wet season.
“They should get their employees to visit consumers and ask if they have problems, and fix them.
“They should also get them to do preventative maintenance and notify your consumers in advance if it will result in disruptions of service, and state very clearly how long it will take.
“I know that it may be difficult, but that is why we took our jobs, to do difficult things and improve people’s lives against the odds,” said Fashola.
He, however, said government through the Niger-Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), was constructing over 100 distributions lines in the country to help DisCos supply electricity to their customers.
Earlier, Abia Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpazu, accompanied by the minister, commissioned a 40MVA mobile transformer in Ohiya transmission sub-station.
Fashola said the project was one out of the 90 projects across the country by (TCN).
He explained that the 40 MVA transformer, which was an addition to the existing 80MVA in the substation would improve power supply to communities in the state.
He listed the communities to include Bende, Umuahia, Isiukwuato, Ohafia, and Arochukwu among others.
The minister also said TCN had expanded the Aba sub-station with a new 60MVA to increase service capacity from 127.5 MVA to 187.5 MVA.
This, he said would improve power supply to Aba North and South, Ukwa East and West, Osisioma, Obioma-Ngwa, Isi ala Ngwa and environs.
Ikpazu, while commissioning the project, said it was a product of the ingenuity of Nigerian engineers to deliver service to the people.
“This project is for the good of our people to have a better life and we must treat it with utmost importance.
“We must protect it as our own so that it will serve us for a long time, to do otherwise is to be unfair to ourselves,” the governor said.
The Managing Director of TCN, Mr Mohammed Gur-Usman, said the project, which was energised on Feb 2, was completely installed by TCN engineers.
He said the additional 40MVA had increased the capacity of the substation to 120MVA.
“With the increase in the capacity of the substation, there is improved electricity supply to distribution load centres supplying electricity to Umuahia metropolis and some environs in Imo state,” he said.