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Residents, business owners rejoice as electricity supply improves in Jos

Contrary to the popular opinion of Nigerians on inadequate power supply across the country the residents of Jos have only praise for the Jos Electricity…

Contrary to the popular opinion of Nigerians on inadequate power supply across the country the residents of Jos have only praise for the Jos Electricity Distribution Company due to markedly improved supply to the city. 

Inadequate supply of power has been a source of concern in Nigeria with many business owners finding it difficult to efficiently operate. Lack of constant power supply has also forced many businesses to close down.

However, in recent times, power supply in various communities of Jos has been constant by Jos DisCo, which carries out the business of electricity distribution and retail sale in the states of Plateau, Gombe, Bauchi and Benue, with many business owners and residents saying the development has improved their business.

Daily Trust correspondent reports that in the last few months, there has been a marked improvement in the supply, which is being welcomed by the residents, especially those who rely on electricity to earn a living.

Malam Adamu Abubakar, a resident of the Nasarawa community in Jos North Local Government Area, is one of those who commend the improvement in power supply.

Abubakar, an auto body welder said currently, he waits for customers rather than customers waiting for him to deliver on the work. This, he attributes to improved electricity supply to his area.

“Prior to this time, we always have a backlog of work to do because of inadequate power supply. We hardly got the job done on time due to the shortage of power. This was drastically affecting our daily income.

“Apart from that, the non-availability of electricity was also causing misunderstanding between us and the customers.

“But now, we wait for the work because we use the opportunity of the constant supply of electricity to do the work no matter how huge it is,” Abubakar said.

According to him, before now, epileptic power supply was forcing metal workers to sleep in their workshops.

Abubakar said the improvement could not be unconnected to the installation of meters by the distribution company adding that it has reduced friction between the company and customers who were hitherto being given estimated bills.

He, however, complained about the high tariff and appealed to the authorities to look into the issue.

Abubakar also admitted that it is cheaper to operate with power from the DISCOs than using generators, especially with the high cost of diesel.

Yohana Yusuf, the manager of Companie Industrielleet Commerciale  (CIC), which sells frozen fish, said there was an improved power supply to his area, British American Junction, which is a business district.

“Electricity supply is now stable. We hardly spend an hour without power. I cannot remember when last we put on our generator. Even when they take power, it hardly lasts more than 20 minutes. It has reduced the cost of diesel we use.”

Just just like Abubakar, Yohana, also said though the electricity supply was constant, it was expensive, adding that “Electricity is cheaper than buying diesel to fuel your generator. No matter what,  electricity is cheaper than using diesel to operate the business. Aside from buying the diesel, you also have other expenses to maintain the generator to ensure better operation. This is just the truth”.

Malam Abbati, a blacksmith, who operates around the NEPA community in Jos North also confirmed the improvement in power supply in Jos and its environs, saying the development had impacted positively on his business.

According to him, with the stability in power supply, he could promise to finish up a job within a stipulated time and fulfill it. This, he said had saved them from getting into arguments with his clients. “In the past, we would always be fighting with our customers because we hardly fulfill the promises we have made to finish up the work. But with what we are experiencing today, our relationship with our customers has been cordial. We don’t have problem of power supply. We are thanking Allah for that.

“Working with a generator is very difficult and unbearable because customers would always argue with you while negotiating on the price of the service rendered. This is the problem with using generator. But with the supply of electricity, we are enjoying the business. What you can charge a customer using a generator is higher than using electricity, “ Abbati said.

Salma Ramadan, Manager of Ramadan Sachet Water Factory in Jos also said the improved power supply had eased operations at the company.

Salman, however, complained about the fixed tariffs the company is being charged. “At the end of every month, you will be charged not less than N20,000 even when we have no power supply for some days. They should look at the economic situation because we have staff and other expenses.’’

Similarly, in the residential areas, customers attested to the fact that electricity supply has improved.

Domino Alaba, a resident of the Tudun Wada area said: “The power supply is constant. We enjoy power for more than 20 hours and that is beautiful. If that could be sustained, it is a good development in the country.’’

Ibrahim Usman, another resident of Bauchi Road said: “The power supply is indeed better than before. We enjoy the supply for many hours. Even though it is expensive, it is still good to be having constant supply.  

Why power supply has improved -Jos DisCo 

Dr Friday Elijah, Head of Corporate Communication of Jos Electricity Distribution Company, attributed the improvement in power supply to the strong networking system.

Elijah added that the improvement in the supply of  electricity was also connected to the strong determination of the present management, which vowed to ensure efficiency on the side of  the staff and equipment.

“Electricity Distribution Company doesn’t generate electricity. We are energy retailers. We distribute what is available to us. But we can only distribute if our network is good. If the network is faulty, you are going to have a problem with distribution. With the coming on board of the new management, the company deliberately injected funds in order to solidify its infrastructure.

“Because the network is a bit better than before, we have constant power supply being distributed to our customers. The second reason is that our technical staff are up and doing. Each time there is a problem somewhere, they would expeditiously go to rectify the problem for supply to be restored immediately. With this approach, you will discover not only in Jos, we have the same story in other areas like; Bauchi, Makurdi and Gombe, which are all under our care. We have improved tremendously, the supply of power to our customers,’’ he added.

On the issue of a hike in billing or in the price of the units, Dr. Friday said energy was never free anywhere in the country.

He said: “What they should be asking is whether the energy we are giving to them is commensurate with the bill we are giving to them? You can’t be having power for more than 20 hours and expect not to pay. Even if you go to the market, and buy one candle every day, you are to spend N3,000 in a month to light your room only. This is just a candle that you cannot power your fan, TV, phone and all of that. So, the money we are charging them tallies with the energy we are delivering to them.