Power fFrms Say Govt’s Plan To Centralise Revenue Accounts

Power fFrms Say Govt’s Plan To Centralise Revenue Accounts

The electricity distribution companies or Discos operating in the country has decried Federal Government plan to centralise or escrow their revenue accounts, saying any such attempt would amount to nationalisation or expropriation of the distribution companies.

The government is considering the plan due to poor market performance of the Discos, especially their poor remittances to the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc.

The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors, ANED – the umbrella body of the 11 power distribution companies in the country, said through its Director of Research and Advocacy, Mr. Sunday Oduntan, that the action would be contrary to the objectives of the National Electricity Power Policy 2001 and the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005.

“Any attempt to centralise or escrow the Discos’ revenue accounts will be tantamount to nationalisation or expropriation of the distribution companies,” ANED said in a statement in Abuja on Monday.

It added: “It will also send very wrong signals to domestic and international investors that Nigeria is not fully open for private sector investment and that we are still partial to the old habits of nationalisation, preventing the injection of the cheap and sorely needed capital that is critical to the rehabilitation and improvement of the electricity infrastructure.”

ANED decried a situation whereby power distribution is supposedly private sector-owned and managed while the government would be in control of its revenues.

Urging the  government to avoid any action that would intrude into corporate responsibilities of procurement, financial management or personnel management of electricity distribution, ANED said: Relative to procurement, we are not aware that the Nigerian Communications Commission issues regulations to guide the internal procurement of the telecommunication companies; the Central Bank of Nigeria, that of the banks; or the Department of Petroleum Resources, that of the oil companies.”

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