Mr. Sunday Oduntan, Executive Secretary, Research and Advocacy of ANED

Why we’re losing over N30bn revenue monthly, DisCos lament

* Over 40 percent of consumers don’t pay electricity bills ─ANED Executive Secretary

* Operators call for effective legislation against energy theft to improve performance

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

While battling with some other operational challenges in the all-important but much beleaguered sector of the Nigerian economy, the Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) say they are losing over N30 billion in monthly revenue to energy theft, meter bypass, vandalism, and unpaid electricity bills by consumers.

Mr. Sunday Oduntan, Executive Secretary, Research and Advocacy of the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) said this in a statement in Abuja, FCT, Thursday, June 25.

Oduntan stated that over 40 percent of Nigerian consumers do not pay electricity bills while they indulge in illegal connection of power.

DisCo operators, who were present at the recent public hearing in Abuja by the Senate Committee on Power, attributed the challenges to form the major part of the DisCos’ Aggregate Technical, Commercial and Collection (ATC&C) losses, ANED Executive Secretary, Research and Advocacy, said.

According to Oduntan, “they called for effective legislation against energy theft to safeguard revenues and improve performance in the power sector.

“There is need for effective legislation by the National Assembly to checkmate energy theft in the country as the practice is costing the power sector billions of Naira monthly.

“The power sector is currently grappling with a liquidity shortfall of over N1.5 trillion occasioned by a combination of adverse conditions, among which is the high rate of energy theft.”

He explained that one of the DisCos recently declared that it was losing monthly from energy theft.

A DisCo said it lost N3 billion monthly, adding that this huge sum of money was lost due to people who illegally bypass power connections.

Oduntan said that in the presentation by the DisCos during the public hearing, they showed an instance where out of N27.7 billion that was billed for energy consumed in 2019 by unmetered consumers, only N5.2 billion was recovered.

Each DisCo loses about N3 billion every month due to the challenges, saying that the total loss by the 10 distribution companies is over N30 billion.

He noted that “the sector cannot continue like this. There is no sector in the world where criminal acts affecting critical sectors are not given special treatment.

“Until people know that there are penalties for the specific crime of energy theft, this is not going to stop.”

The power companies are working hard to ensure the availability of electricity meters so that there would be greater transparency which would build consumer confidence, he said.

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