Mr Haruna Ahmed Osike is the Chief Executive Officer of H.A.Osike Electrical Engineering works Nigeria Limited and the first electrical wiring licenced contractor in the northern part of the country. In this interview with YINKA OLADOYINBO, the former staff of Electricity Corporation of Nigeria (ECN) and NEPA who had over 50 years experience in electrical line speaks extensively on the poor power supply and the federal government needs to do to address the issue.
What do you think is responsible for epileptic power supply despite the federal government effort in ensuring that Nigerians enjoy constant electricity supply.
The major problem Nigeria as a country has today in respect of electricity emanated from the distribution companies. The power generating companies are trying their best in ensuring that enough kilowatts of electricity are generated, but the distribution companies saddled with the responsibilities of evacuating the electricity were the one thwarting the enormous effort put in place by the federal government in seeing that Nigerians enjoyed constant power supply.
I believe that Nigerians can still attest to the fact that when President Muhammadu Buhari took over the mantle of leadership in 2015, his major priority was to tackle the issues surrounding the power sector and he created enabling environment for the critical stakeholders to operate, all with a view to improve the power supply.
But regrettably, while the power generating companies co-operate assiduously, the distribution companies especially Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) handling Kogi, Abuja and other states completely deviated from the core agreement it went into with the federal government. Beside deviation, the companies also jettison many of the agreements they signed before assuming distribution status.
Imagine the power generation companies would generate enough electricity and the AEDC will refuse to buy and distribute and instead they were busy load shielding putting consumers in total darkness, while they continue billing and over billing the consumers whether they render service to the people or not.
They minimised the supply of power in order to maximise profit for the owners of the company at the detriment of the consumers whose businesses solely depend on electricity to survive.
Again all these tricks government cannot claim not in the knowing because even the former minister of power, works and housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, was aware but turned his back on the nefarious attitude of the distribution companies even when there are series of complaints of epileptic power supply across the states and nothing was done by the minister whom the president believed he is capable of handling the sector.
It is apparently the responsibilities of the distribution companies to provide and maintained their equipment, but in this country, it is the power consumers and communities who replace broken electric poles, replace damaged wire.
How do you think the consumers can be protected on the issue of prepaid metres?
I am advising consumers of electricity who have no prepaid metre not to pay. I even have the leaflet where the AEDC were charging the sum of N36,991:50k for single phase and N67, 055 : 85k for three phase without recourse for the agreement it signed with federal government to supply the prepaid metres free to Nigerians.
It is the duty of the federal government and the national assembly to look into the issue of prepaid metre because the cheating is becoming unbearable as it is a fraudulent act .
The Nigeria Electricity Regulating Commission should be up and doing because their silence over the issue of prepaid metres may amount to the fact that the commission have connive with the distribution companies to defraud innocent Nigerians. NERC is not performing its statutory obligations to the people, I am appealing to the federal government to dissolve that body because it is not functioning well .I also want the federal government to compel the state governors to establish ministry of power in their respective states, then any state that has the capacity to generate power should be encouraged to do it. The states can register with the federal government, generate power, distribute it and add to the national grid.