POWER GENERATION: THE SCAM WE ARE LIVING WITH

NERC

THE SCAM WE ARE LIVING WITH

This is what a man expects as he goes about the business of making Nigeria a great country:

  • He expects to wake up in the morning without wondering how he is going to get hot water for his bath;
  • Or how he is going to press his clothes;
  • Or whether the fuel in his tank would be enough to take him to work and back;
  • He expects to come back from a hard day’s job to relax in front of his tv while his favorite little daughter is pestering him about how hard her day was.

These are some of the basic simple pleasures a man looks forward to each day. But the reality in Nigeria is that it is easier to coerce water out of a rock than to get these things. Ok, some people actually enjoy these things in Nigeria. But you have to be very rich. I mean really rich. What Nigerians find hard to understand is the persistent lack of electricity in the country. It wouldn't have been so bad if mid-sized countries with mid-sized economies like Nigeria are facing the same power challenges.

The numbers are really hard to live with. 4000MW of power available for over 190 million people.

Yet the people charged with delivering electricity to us regularly come on air to shamelessly to tells us how hard they are working to make sure power generation remains stable at 4000MW. I mean they actually call press conferences to triumphantly announce a a major achievement in power generation if that figure manages to limp over the 4000MW mark. To put in perspective, 4000MW is just enough power for half of Lagos State alone. These are educated men. Just figure how and why men with such mindset get to be saddled with important work. After the fuel subsidy scam, the biggest scam on the Nigerian people is in the electricity sector.

Given time, the scam here is going to surpass the petroleum subsidy scam. It is getting there.

What is happening is so bad, so persistent, and so endemic that Nigerians are now so used to the scam. It is worst than living with an incurable disease. At least for an incurable disease you know you cannot do anything about it. How many times have you heard Sam Amadi going on about how things will get better soon because his commission is hard at work 247. I don't listen to that man anymore. The new CEO of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission is Sanusi Garba and ever since he assumed power, I am yet to see any changes in the state of affairs with Power Generation in Nigeria. His commission, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, of which he is the chairman, is charged with the responsibility of fairness in the pricing of electricity to the consumers. But the feeling one gets since NERC came into existence is that its primary job is convincing us to enjoy the privilege of being scammed.

Scam? What scam? Some of you might ask. Paying for services you don't get is a scam.

Every month we are made to pay a fixed charge for energy whether you are supplied with power or not. The NERC was actually established to help the masses. But if you think Sanusi Garba is not working with all the electricity companies to scam us of our money, just reboot whatever you use for thinking. If you think things will get better, do another reboot.

NERC and the power companies are just starting. The electricity bills will keep racking up. And nothing can stop them.