Bewildered senators were yesterday told that Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) are technically bankrupt.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Privatisation, Senator Ben Murra- Bruce, told his colleagues that the way out of the worsening power situation in the country was to revisit the privatisation of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
Senator Murray-Bruce spoke following a motion on “DisCos, electricity consumers and the burden of overbilling” sponsored by Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West)
The lawmaker said those expecting the DisCos to install meters in their houses should forget the idea since it was obvious that the DisCos lacked the resources to buy meters.
He said: “The DisCos are technically bankrupt; they have no money to buy meters. Unless we revisit the entire privatisation, there will be no solution to the power sector. We have to urgently revisit the privatisation exercise in its entirety.”
Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Senator Bukar Mustapha (Katsina North) also stressed the need to address inefficiency in the power sector.
Mustapha who said the value chain in the power sector is weakest at the DisCos level insisted that the country was sitting on an emergency that should be drastically addressed in the interest of the country and its development.
He said: ‘The problem we have is the inefficiency within the system which we have actually so far not decided to address. I will give you a small example: Nigeria has an installed capacity of 12,522 Megawatts (Mw) of power.
“We have non-available capacity of 5,300MW; we have non-operational capacity of 3,180MW meaning that what is actually available is just over 4,000MW out of 12,500MW.
Source: The Nation