Government bans purchase of transformers by electricity consumers

Mr Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Power, Works and Housing.

Mr Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Power, Works and Housing.

• Tasks Discos on improved networks
• Seeks investors to achieve 20,000MW target

The Federal Government has outlawed the procurement of transformers by electricity consumers, maintaining that it remains the duty of distribution companies (Discos).

It also charged operators in the nation’s power sector to improve investments in order to upgrade their networks.

The government equally expressed readiness to offset the electricity bills owed by ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) put at N97 billion by the Discos.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who made the disclosures during a meeting with officials of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (ANED), however, noted that a careful verification of the debts was being carried out to ascertain the exact amount, considering that the sum stretches to several years.

He welcomed any information that could expedite the exercise.

He said: “You must continue to make distribution asset investments. Private purchase of transformers should stop. That is the responsibility of the distribution companies. We still have cases of people buying transformers themselves. This should not be the case.”

Fashola charged the operators to improve customer relationship as well as close the metering gap and educate consumers on energy conservation.

“Since the distribution companies are now owned by private enterprises, you need to make it easy for people to reach you. Let us all understand that the problems we have are not technical. They are manmade,” he noted.

Earlier, the firm’s Managing Director, Ernest Mupwaya, had sought government’s approval to use the debts as letter of credit to address the liquidity challenges of the sector.

In the meantime, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) is seeking investors for its $7.5 billion system expansion agenda geared at attaining 20,000MW by 2022.

In the ambitious five-year plan by which the transmission firm hopes to achieve 6,600MW by the end of 2016; 10,000MW in 2018; 13,000MW in 2020; 16,000MW for 2021 and 20,000MW by 2022, the nation’s capacity is to grow over the years from the current 5,300MW.

A draft of the Nigerian Power Sector Investment Opportunities and Guidelines obtained by The Guardian yesterday noted that investment in the sector was very attractive owing to its growth potential.

The document, however, lamented the inability of the transmission and distribution companies to effectively discharged their duties.

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  • Emeka

    Who then pays back the amount already spent by individuals in buying transformers, or are you just saying the above to get artificial praises???

  • PrinceDem

    Tariff increment failed, it is now transformer procurement. The Discos that could not adequately provide $100 Electricity Metres to all the consumers, they are now to provider $3,500+ Electricity Transformer, in fact consumers pay for the repairs of the faulty ones installed by the Discos.

    Mr. 3in1 minister, is it the demand of the mobile telcos alone or the commercial entities (banks/supperstores/fuel stations/factories/residential estates etc). Must it be only areas of commercial gains to protect a set of interests that the minister will always have something to say?

  • Bashir Adesanya

    This companies are rogues…they inherited the trait from NEPA…its not unusual to have such bad offsprings…also these companies set up by politicians who have been raping the public treasury where not set up for service delivery, rather, to make money through the usual ways NEPA did..its still the same philosophy and methods they are employing…My minister himself knows these better than I do…but he has to get his job by making promises to the sharlocks and keep it by looking away from areas where the public can be benefitted at the expense of the greedy few!

  • Stanley

    Fashola is for once either purposefully or mistakenly correct to identify the problems affecting steady power supply as man made. Now here is the simple solutions: Get people, or companies to bring in the prepaid meters and sell to consumers. Grant them the necessary waivers. Let DISCOS continue to hoard theirs for the evil estimated bills fraud. Once the DISCOS can no longer cheat on people our man-made problem is solved. You will no longer need to tell them to invest, or expand or provide steady electricity. This simple solutions does not take 1 kobo from the government purse. DISCOS will be the pace makers in the “change start with me” that Mr President just launched.


    Our dear Fashola should focus on ways Government can improve on power generation and transmission, not who can, or cannot buy transformer. Was there any policy that allows individual or community to buy Transformer?