The federal government has asked electricity distribution companies (DisCos) in the country to either show they have capacity or step aside for other investors.
Sale Mamman, minister of power, gave the warning at the end of the federal executive council (FEC) meeting in Abuja on Wednesday.
Mamman said the government cannot continue to subsidise electricity without “any positive outcome” in supply.
The minister said the DisCos collect 3,000 megawatts (MW) and pay for only 1,000MW, while the government completes the payment.
“Nigeria can generate up to 13,000 megawatts of electricity but we cannot transmit all. So today we presented to the council the solution to the problem of our generation. It is mainly distribution,” Mamman said.
“We can generate 13,000 megawatts, we transmit 7,000 megawatts but can only distribute 3,000. There is a lot of work to be done in transmission companies and the government is now willing to take up the matter immediately.
“One of the things I will tell you is that government has signed memorandum of understanding with the German government, Siemens. They are to align between distribution and transmission and also generation.
“So that at the end of the day if we generate 13,000 megawatts, transmission will take the whole 13,000 and will distribute same, that way Nigerians will be happy and everyone will have 24/7 electricity supply because we cannot continue like that.
“So if they (DisCos) are ready to continue, fine but if they are not ready to continue maybe they should give way to whoever that is ready to come and invest. So we are asking government to review and see if they are capable fine but if they are not capable, they should give way.”
The minister said the recommendations have been submitted to the FEC and decisions will be taken on them soon.
“The DisCos are the ones manning the distribution, that is why I have submitted my observations to the government, it is left for the government that will have to decide,” Mamman said.
“We just have to sit and see whether they are capable, have the technical know how because most of the problems we are having today is the loss – technical loss and commercial loss.
“They will give you light and may not collect your money or they will collect the money and pocket, or they may send light and you may not have good sub-station that may collect this power and distribute to customers. This has been our major problem and it is the responsibility of the DisCos to take care of that end.
“That is what we are saying, government cannot continue to subsiding because what they doing is that they collect 3,000 megawatts and pay for only 1,000 megawatts, that is 15 percent of what they are collecting, so government is the one completing the payment.”
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