By Collins Dupson, 19th January 2021
The Commissioner in charge of the Ministry of Power, Mines and Mineral Resources in Ondo State, Engr. Razaq Obe has told Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) to end the estimated billings system, saying frantic effort should be put in place in ensuring prepaid meters are distributed to every consumer.
Obe, who spoke at the Asun Night organised by the Akure Branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) to unwind frowned at the estimated metering system of DisCos, noting that, despite billions of naira the companies were making from consumers, yet failed to supply meters to them.
” It is annoying that some people make billions of naira monthly, they won’t give meters to their consumers but for flimsy reasons still using estimated billings to charge their customers”.
He charged DisCos to improve on their distributions equipment and increase the capacity to enable them optimizes the use of electrical resources by the Generation Companies (GenCos). “The power failure in the country today is not from Generation Companies but Distribution Companies; they need to increase their capacities in power distribution to consumers”.
He said while countries across the world are doing everything to generate and distribute power to its citizens, he bemoaned Nigeria approach where the power sector was sold to the DisCos with little or no improvement in the sector. ” I like the way their name sound because they have been doing “disco” all along”.
In his words, ” It is sad that someone would look into a state and possess all the power asset of the state. If government could not act, a group of people like NSE that knows the genesis of these assets should act, force government to act, release press statement about this act they have committed”.
“On resumption in office, we called BEDC to our office where we discussed the values and the need to employ the service of a consultant to estimate all the investment of the state in our power infrastructures but the answer from the official of the company was appalling, saying they purchase the entire infrastructure when they bought the power sector”.
He said as a ministry, they are working out modalities and gathering relevant figures that they will take to court to demand for the state’s right and compensation as regard power infrastructures built with the state resources.
“It may take 10 years or more but we are going to win at the court; it may be DisCos or Federal Government that will pay certain billions to Ondo State Government because there is no part of Nigeria law that permits one to steal directly from other”.
Meanwhile, Engr Obe, commended the leadership of NSE for organizing a get together that brings members of the association together in one building to relax and interact.
The Commissioner promised to provide strong support and patronage to the body and every member, with assurance of ensuring that any Engineering firm that get contract from the state pass through and liaise with the professional body.
He commended Governor Akeredolu for creating Ministry of Energy, Mines and Mineral Resources in the state saying the ministry ought to have been established since the creation of the state in 1976 for effective power delivery in Ondo State.
Engr Obe reiterated his commitment to the association, adding that the door of his office is widely open to every member.” Let’s work together as a team for the upliftment of Engineering Profession in Ondo State”.