One of the major challenges hindering Nigeria’s development is the erratic electricity supply in the country.
Successive governments in Africa’s largest economy have promised but failed to deliver steady power supply to the almost 180 million inhabitants in Nigeria.
In November 2013, five Generation companies (GenCos) and 11 Distribution companies (DisCos) were handed over to private investors with 60 per cent stakes in the former Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) utilities.
The firms assured of metering electricity consumers and significantly reducing the collection and technical losses in the sector within five years..
Many analysts however say the companies have not lived up to the expectations of Nigerians since they bought the former PHCN utilities.
One thing many fail to realise is the average Nigerian aversion to paying bills. If the Discos are not paid, their businesses will suffer. If their businesses suffer, our hope for constant electricity will be a pipe dream.
Even the country’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) is a chronic debtor, as its national secretariat in Abuja has been thrown into darkness following the party’s failure to offset the N1.7 million debt owed Abuja Electricity Distribution Company.
Here we list seven reasons why Nigerians should always pay their electricity bills as espoused by the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors.
1. Discos have to pay the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET) for electricity supplies that they receive
2. NBET pays the GenCos, who have to pay their gas suppliers (Thermal)
3. Discos also pay the market operator (TCN) and other stakeholders, for the various services that they provide
4. If Nigerians don’t pay their bills, it starves the entire electricity value chain of the funds needed in power
5. Lack of funds leads to poor or no electricity supply; potential failure of the power sector and related mass unemployment; and diminished prospects for national economic growth.
6. Non-payment means that our aspirations for 24-7 power supply will continue to be just that – an aspiration
7. Not paying bill by bypassing or stealing electricity means that it costs legitimate customers more, to receive electricity supply.