The Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, has advised the nation’s service providers to protect and respect the rights of their consumers.
Senator Abaribe gave the advice in Benin on Saturday at a news conference shortly after a meeting with the consumers and management of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company.
The chairman urged the BEDC to do everything within its capacity to satisfy its customers.
While noting that there would not be any excuse for non- performance, he solicited regular interface between the BEDC and its critical stakeholders.
The senator also commended the customers of the utility company for knowing their rights and always fighting for them.
Abaribe said: “We saw from the forum that the customers know their rights and are insisting on them.
“We are, however, appealing to them to always follow the laid-down procedures or processes in seeking for these rights.”
While lamenting the ill-treatment of consumers, the committee insisted that Nigerians must be served properly.
According to him, they have gone through some difficulties and anybody who is serving them should do that with respect.
The senator also urged consumers and distribution companies to always work hand-in-hand in resolving issues that had to do with quality services.
He recommended the Issele-Uku Community of Delta State model of self-help adopted in the restoration of power to the community after seven years of outage.
Expressing hope for a better Nigeria, Abaribe noted that the job of the committee was to review the state of power in respect of Distribution companies (Discos).
He said that comprehensive discussion was going on with regard to the privatisation exercise between the Bureau of Public Enterprises and the privatised companies.
He said: “The stand of the committee is that privatisation in itself is not bad but when you have agreements all parties must keep to the terms of such agreements.
“The Federal Ministry of Power, National Economic Council and BPE are all working on this to ensure that decision to be taken over emerging issues connected with the privatisation will be in the best interest of all stakeholders.”
On her part, BEDC’s Managing Director, Funke Osibodu, said power supply was a function of the value chain process involving the generation companies, Transmission Company of Nigeria and the Discos.
Osibodu appealed to the senate committee to assist in ensuring that budgets earmarked for TCN were passed and made available to enable the TCN repair or replace some of its faulty transformers.
She said: “When gas is not available, generation is affected, while TCN constraints affect its ability to transmit power to Discos which are the interface with customers.
“Customers should realise that progress in service delivery is gradual.
“If the existing TCN constraints can be resolved, BEDC will be able to distribute more power to customers in its franchise areas.’’
NAN reports that other members of the committee on the visit were: Senators James Manager, Suleiman Hunkuyi, Ahmed Ogenbe and Abdullahi Sabi.