From ODIMMEGWA JOHNPETER, Abuja
ARISING from key issues that are thrown up at the monthly sector meetings, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has directed Nigerian Electricity Management Services (NEMSA), Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader, (NBET), and the Market Operator (TCN/ MO) to implement ranking criteria in order to assess the safety and payment performance of Distribution Companies (DISCOs).
He issued the directive at the meeting held at Shiroro Hydroelectric Plant, Niger State,
The Minister’s concern was sequel to the rising cases of electrocutions as recently reported on locations in Eko and Abuja DISCOs, although the families were compensated in record time.
He said they should embark on system upgrade to reduce or totally eliminate the hazard, thereby reducing the incidence of electrocution and other related accidents.
Following compliance with the directive, Port Harcourt Disco has been ranked first in safety compliance category in the month of May.
In order to assist Discos with the upgrade plans, the minister directed them to take ownership of abandoned transformers and sub- stations in their domain. This he assured will help them to energize their networks, thereby increasing availability of power supply to households.
Owing to obvious constraints, the ranking for payment performance will commence in June, hence the full ranking for metering loss reduction and service delivery will be made public in July, 2016.
It would be recalled that the minister, on assumption of duty, instituted the Regular/ Monthly Operators in the Electricity Industry’s Meeting premised on a hands on approach to identifying, discussing and finding practical solutions to challenges confronting the industry, not from the comfort of his office but on the field by crisscrossing sectors’ facilities and sites nationwide.