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‘Why DisCos take over transformers, cables bought by consumers’

The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) has said the electricity Distribution Companies (Discos) assume ownership of equipment customers buy for their networks to ensure…

The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) has said the electricity Distribution Companies (Discos) assume ownership of equipment customers buy for their networks to ensure safety and protection.

In a statement by ANED’s Executive Director for Research and Advocacy, Barr. Sunday Oduntan on Monday, the group said: “The DisCos take responsibility for any incident that happens with those infrastructures. It is important for Nigerians to understand that DisCos have a responsibility to ensure that only good quality equipment duly certified by the Nigerian Electricity Management and Services Agency (NEMSA) are installed in our network.

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

ANED said it was reacting to enquiries as to why those equipment were taken over by the DisCos. It gave the instance of some transformers installed during the PHCN era, for instance in Lugbe in Abuja, which had 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 nor should they bear liability for any incident that occurs thereafter.”

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had severally noted that it remains the right of the DisCos to provide all transformers and other equipment needed for power supply to consumers. However, there are cases where consumers donate to buy this equipment where the DisCos would not provide such even as they seek to earn revenue from those places.

Oduntan in the statement also said accusations surrounding disconnections and reconnection fees charged by DisCos were unfair. “The truth is that there are clear grounds for disconnections. Disconnections are not random and there are clear guidelines stipulated by NERC under which disconnections can take place.”

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