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Why we take over donated electricity equipment — ANED

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The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) says Electricity Distribution Companies (Discos) assume ownership of equipment donated by consumers in order to ensure public safety.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Monday by ANED’s Executive Director for Research and Advocacy, Mr Sunday Oduntan, said Discos normally assumed ownership of donated equipment because of “indemnity and protection“.

He noted that the Discos usually took responsibility for any incident that happened with such donated equipment.

According to him, it is important for Nigerians to understand that Discos have a responsibility to ensure that only good quality equipment duly certified by Nigerian Electricity Management and Safety Agency (NEMSA) are installed in their networks.

“After installation, Discos have to take steps to protect such equipment so that it will be safe for use by customers.

“We have had occasions when some transformers that were installed in the days of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) caused electrocution.

“We need to protect the equipment and ensure that access is only granted to qualified personnel. People have lost their lives because they were trying to maintain their transformers.

“This is why we ask customers to write a letter of donation to the Discos. If the items do not belong to the Discos, they cannot exercise any right over the use of the items, neither should they bear liability for any incident that occurs thereafter,” he said.

Oduntan said that it was the responsibility of Discos to make electricity infrastructure, adding that they do a lot of this.

He said that in situations where the demand exceeded supply due to shortage of funds, customers do step in to help their communities.

According to him, since privatisation in 2013 ANED members have invested considerably on improvements in their networks.

“It is understandable when a community of customers decides to step in rather than take the option of waiting till resources needed to service their needs are provided by their respective Disco.

`The issue of community volunteering is very clearly stipulated by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC)

Oduntan described as unfair accusations surrounding disconnections and reconnection fees charged by Discos.

He explained that disconnection was a legitimate recourse available to the service providers under certain conditions and the reconnection fee was a penalty to dissuade offenders from committing the offence again.

“Disconnections are not random and there are clear guidelines stipulated by NERC under which disconnections can take place.

“Disconnections can occur when a customer owes accumulated bills for over 90 days.

“Other grounds for disconnection include when a customer is found engaging in energy theft or tampering with distribution equipment,” he said.

Oduntan said it was statutory to charge a fee to cover the operations and to deter offenders. This is not a practice that is restricted to Nigeria only.

“Time and resources are expended in disconnecting and reconnecting a customer due to an act of the customer.

“If there is no penalty attached to that, then there is no deterrence,” he said.

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Photos of Arnold Schwarzenegger involved in car crash

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Hollywood actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger has been involved in a car accident, his spokesman has confirmed.

The four-vehicle crash, which occurred on Friday afternoon, January 21 in Los Angeles left one person with injuries, Los Angeles Police said.

Photos from the scene published by TMZ show a large SUV on top of at least two vehicles at an intersection in Brentwood while the ‘Terminator’ actor can be seen standing nearby.

Police said that no arrest has been made and ruled out the involvement of drugs and alcohol.

Officers did not identify those involved but the actor and former California governor’s spokesman confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that he was driving the SUV when the incident occurred.

A report by police, seen by CBS Los Angeles, said that the SUV driver was “near the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Allenford Avenue, when a collision occurred with a red Prius making a u-turn as he continued through a ‘red arrow’ signal to turn left.”

It added that the SUV rolled on top of the Prius and ended up hitting two other vehicles.

One person was taken to hospital by ambulance, but the injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

Schwarzenegger’s spokesman said that the actor was uninjured and had spoken with emergency services and the injured person.

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Governors have no business with removal of fuel subsidy, says Fayemi

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Kayode Fayemi, chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, stated on Thursday that state governors had no say in whether or not to keep the fuel subsidy.

During a news conference following a meeting of the Governors, Mr Fayemi made the remark.

The group “concluded to engage the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress on how best to address this issue without causing any dissension but with a view to recovering the Nigerian economy for the Nigerian people,” according to the Ekiti State Governor.

However, he argued that the decision wasn’t one for the Governors to make.

“For us at the forum, it is a matter that is a going concern. We don’t have a definite issue on it because it is left to the Petroleum Industry Act. It is not for us. NNPC is now a private company and the company should decide what it wants to do with the price of its products. It shouldn’t really be the business of Governors.

“It is not up to sub-nationals to decide on what happens to PMS pricing. It is an entirely exclusive responsibility of the Federal Government.

“However, we are critical stakeholders and we are members of the National Economic Council, so we contribute to debates in the Council.”

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Fuel subsidy removal will cause more hardship for Nigerians, says Abdulsalami

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Former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd.) has warned that the proposed fuel subsidy removal will cause further harm to Nigerians.

Abdulsalami spoke on Thursday at the 19th Daily Trust Summit in Abuja, pointing out that the country is already facing challenges on multiple fronts.

The Buhari administration has made public its plan to stop the payment of fuel subsidy by June 2022.

However, many stakeholders, including the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, feel the move is insensitive and wrongly timed as the citizens are already going through untold hardship.

“Unemployment or underemployment remain at record levels,” General Abdulsalami said, adding “and over 80 million Nigerians are still caught up in needless poverty.

“All of these tend to have negative effects on security.

“In fact, Nigeria now faces a food security crisis that is compounded by the COVID-19 global pandemic and the banditry in many States in Northern Nigeria.

“All of these have disrupted the fragile value chains across the country, and negatively impacted the ability of Nigerians to produce, process and distribute food.

“The result is a continued rise in the prices of food items, beyond the reach of many Nigerian families.

“On top of all these, fuel prices are expected to rise significantly in the coming months as announced last November by the NNPC.

“We all know when this happens, as the government has planned, it will push many millions deeper into poverty.”

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