PHCN – The Power To WithHOLD.

So, someone trying to be a good citizen posts the following,

If your street Power Transformer is bad, report to your Distribution company (DISCO). If they fail to replace it, report to NERC. Stop Contributing Money. NERC Says. NERC contact: Customer Complaints Unit, NERC Email: Tel: 09-4621414 and 09-4621424

Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is an independent regulatory body with authority for the regulation of the electric power industry in Nigeria. NERC was formed in 2005

Someone cynically responded,

You will grow grey hairs while waiting for that transformer replacement if you don’t “shake body”

I agree.

There was a time the Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo directed,

If they don’t give you Prepaid Meter, don’t pay PHCN Bills…

How effective has that been?

The problem with politically correct statements statements like this is while it sounds great, it does not address the real life issues on ground.

You would agree with someone saying, °It’s high time people are held accountable. wouldn’t you?

But, WHO would hold them accountable, and HOW?

Is it by carrying placards to PHCN?

Even in Police Stations, you are charged money to buy a pen and paper to report something!

While someone thought protesting in this mannerwould be a good start, can you really fight systemic corruption with tokenist approaches?

The guy, a lawyer, thinks challenging the status quo could gradually bring the desired changes.

Hear him…

I actually know of a man who got court orders compelling PHCN to replace a faulty Transformer and also refund the money collected from the residents of his street. They did that after a Contempt Proceeding was instituted against them. However, they refused to power the street for almost 6months in retaliation.

I think 6 months is even generous!
At least the Court Order didn’t compel PHCN to supply Power by force. While they won that particular battle, they lost the bigger war.

They have been marked ..

The lawyer narrating that story concluded by saying that other street who planned to take the same route quickly retraced their steps. He who falls into a ditch is good lesson for those coming behind him!

A Pyrrhic Victory is no victory .

I commented,

It is usually better to go with the flow than attempt to buck the Nigerian corrupt system. You are better off attempting to crack a coconut with your head. You can’t win. A wise man doesn’t initiate a fight he can never win On second thoughts, though, if all the residents are using prepaid meters, they can actually stand their grounds and insist the appropriate thing be done. The power holders will be at a disadvantage if they choose to “hold unto power” in retaliation . That is if the whole community can be united and stand their grounds.

We may then ask, what is the essence of the Consumer Protection Law and similar?

Toothless Laws?

We seem to have really sank to the deepest lows, where nothing works, no?.

There is an electrical / electronics Market close to my place of residence where PHCN asked traders to bring some good millions (again) to replace a transformer which they already contributed for in the past , and a bad one was brought..

Traders said they are no longer sinking money into a bottomless pit anymore. No way!

Well, they are still in darkness since the beginning of this year, nine months … running generators daily, at huge losses.

The model that would force performance in the Electricity Sector may be ensuring everyone has a Prepaid Meters.

Listen to this narrative,

In my Estate, we don’t give a hoot whatever the Power Holders choose to do. There was a four-day outage last week. If you see the way PHCN was running helter-skelter to trace and rectify the problem!. We all use Prepaid Metres and 95% of the Residents use multiple alternative power sources. From Inverter to generators. It’s either they fix the power or they calculate their losses, because no power supplied.. no revenue for them. it is those without Prepaid Metres that I pity

Suddenly, somebody cited the novel arrangement between Magido Residents in Lagos and PHCN where they pay premium charges to have more constant electricity. Magido is an affluent / elitist neighborhood.

Here Is The Magodo Story.

He believes if such an agreement is replicated in other places, this will progressively solve the pernicious electricity problems somewhat.

I disagree. Completely .

Must you be a big gun or top dog to be supplied regularly electricity in this country? It would be like providing special roads for those that can afford UK grade roads, and leaving the other roads riddled with craters and potholes for the common man to destroy their cars with .

That can’t be right!

The problem with that arrangement / agreement is that it will be to the disadvantage of the less privileged.

A higher proportion of the electrical power supplied to a state will consequently be exclusively reserved for areas where similar premium agreement is in force.

We should all have equal access to power. It’s like giving a particular area 24/7 water supply just because they can afford to pay above the standard rate while depriving other less fortunate areas of moderate supply.

You can only have such arrangements with things that are not basic.. discretionary services.. not the basics like power / water supply .. or roads..

if we encourage that sorry of thing, the power situation will then be saddled with the ridiculous situation where our lives will be auctioned to the highest bidder.

If basic government amenities are being auctioned to the highest bidder then the common man won’t be able to drive on same roads that the affluent men ply.

The rest will slug it out on Carter Bridge and Ikorodu Road in Lagos, for example .Third Mainland Bridge and Lekki-Epe Road will be exclusively reserved for those that can afford it.

That would create a Cobra effect

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