We ‘ll needs N295bn to provide 4.1m prepaid meters —ANED

Executive Director, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), Sunday Oduntan, has disclosed that about N295 billion will be required by all the electricity distribution companies (Discos) to cater for identified 4.1 million energy meters deficit.

This is if the perceived abnormal estimated energy billings usually complained of by consumers are to be properly addressed.

The spokesperson of all 11 Discos in Nigeria says credible and accurate population census is indispensable at this trying period of nationhood, if adequate and constant electricity generation, transmission and distribution are to be guaranteed. He says government and private sector efforts on power may be a mirage if there is no provision for credible head count.

Speaking at a stakeholders forum organised by the Ogun State House of Assembly, tagged, “Estimated Billings, Inability to Provide Pre-Paid Meters, Erratic Power Supply by IBEDC and Non Compliance with National Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC)” held in Abeokuta on Wednesday, Oduntan said Nigeria must generate between 20,000 and 180,000 megawatts of energy to fight epileptic power supply, saying everybody must be involved to ensure stable and adequate power supply.

At the Forum, which was attended by the several Civil society organisations, representatives of electricity consumers, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Ogun state chapter and representatives of State Government, among others, Oduntan pointed out that power generation in the country is too low and Federal Government must step up efforts in ensuring that more megawatts are generated to satisfy the power needs of Nigerians.

The ANED executive director noted that South Africa with a population of 67 million is currently generating 48,000 megawatts against 39,000 megawatts that the country needs, he however, decried Nigeria’s failure to generate at least 20,000 megawatts, just as he lauded President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for increasing power generation to 5,150 megawatts, the highest in the country since 1980.

He said, “Nigeria has no credible population census, and you cannot distribute power without accurate census. Nigeria needs between 20,000 and 180,000 megawatts for adequate power supply. South Africa, with 67 million people generates 48,000 megawatts and they are now even working to increase the generation to 79,000.

“5,150 megawatts are the maximum we generated since 1980. Let us be sincere with ourselves, to generate power is expensive. To do 1,000 megawatts, you will need about $1.2 billion. Also, 4.1 million meter gap has been identified and to cater for that, N295 billion will be needed by Discos to provide both three-phase prepaid and post-paid meters at the rate of N73,000 per unit.”
Speaking on behalf of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Motunrayo Elegberun, secretary, MAN, Ogun state chapter, noted that erratic power supply has negative impact on materials and machines used in production of goods and service which also results to unnecessary loss of productive hours, high cost of production and less return on investment, adding that if nothing tangible is done to fix energy problem in the country, inflation would rise and lots of industries would fold up.

Earlier, the speaker of the House of Assembly, Suraj Adekunbi, explained the Forum was organised by the State House of Assembly to give opportunity to various stakeholders to air their views on the issue of power supply in Ogun State, while the deputy speaker assured various groups that the issue the Assembly would discuss the issue on the floors of the House and come up with a positive position on the issue.