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Published On: Thu, Aug 21st, 2014

Power stability’ll dispense fixed charge – BPE

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Power-plantBy Etuka Sunday

The Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Benjamin Ezra Dikki, has assured that the fixed charge currently borne by electricity consumers in the country would be dispensed with as soon as power generation increases to an economically sustainable level.

A statement yesterday by the Head, Public Communications, Chigbo Anichebe quoted the DG to have spoke on a Radio Nigeria Live/Phone-in Programme—Radio Link. He therefore appealed to electricity consumers to bear the burden as it was a temporary measure.

He said the country had an installed power capacity of 6,000 megawatts but was generating only about 3,000 to 4,000 megawatts.

He said revenues from the 3,000 megawatts were not sufficient to support the power infrastructure.”

When power generation increases, the fixed charge will go”, he maintained. According to him, it is the initial sacrifice consumers had to make given the huge financial investment made by the new power investors who are yet to obtain adequate returns on their investments.

Dikki said that like what obtained at the initial stages of the reform in the telecoms sector when the cost of the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards and telephone handsets was as high as N50,000 per SIM but has now crashed to free SIMs with air time, “the electricity fixed charge will also crash”.

On complaints of non-availability of electric meters, the BPE helmsman said government was addressing the issue as the Presidency had approved N33 billion low interest intervention fund to support the Distribution Companies (DISCOs) in the country to buy meters and other electric power accessories.

He pointed out that Nigeria currently requires three million meters yearly.

Dikki Debunked claims of lack of transparency in the privatization of Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KEDC) and the picture created of a conflict between Geometrics Power Group and Interstate Electrics Ltd, the core investor of Enugu Distribution Company.

On KEDC, he said the reserved bidder can only be invited to step in if the preferred bidder failed to pay.

He added that the preferred bidder was within the time limit to pay the 75 % balance of the bid price after an initial payment of 25 % had been made.

The DG said it is wrong for anybody to call for therevocation of the sale as the process had to complete before reversion to the reserved bidder will be made. On Geometrics, Dikki explained that it has a 20- year contract with the Enugu Distribution Company to supply power to the Aba and Ariaria districts which is not in contention.”

Both parties are aware of this but it baffles me when people go out to deliberately distort the facts. We don’t understand the hue and cry that Geometrics is short-changed in the transaction”

The DG noted that the reforms undertaken by the privatisation agency have impacted positively on the Nigerian economy. He added that the Bureau intends to focus on the transport sector in the next phase of the reforms as the sector contributes about 30 % to the cost of doing business in Nigeria.

 

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