‘Monumental Corruption In Electricity Sector Uncovered, Discos Defrauding Nigerians’ – WAMAC

by J.J Olawuyi

The Wadata Media and Advocacy Centre (WAMAC), a non-governmental organization, has urged Nigerians, in particular energy consumers, to take up the battle against corruption in the nation’s power industry.

The MacArthur Foundation helped WAMAC hold a Townhall meeting over the weekend in Akure, the capital of Ondo state, where they criticized how the country’s power distribution corporations (Discos) had been scamming Nigerians through “estimated billings and metering manipulations.”

The group claimed that since the electricity industry was privatized in 2014, the new leaders of the Electricity Distribution Companies have “crowned themselves emperors and untouchable” by undercharging customers.

The group’s Executive Director/Project Manager, Mr. Zubair Abdurra’uf Idris, addressed the attendees at the Townhall meeting and stated that service delivery in Nigeria has traditionally been on a jump service status because to “monumental corruption,” mainly in the electrical industry.

Although President Bola Tinubu’s new administration had passed legislation to lessen the Electricity Distribution Agency’s monopoly, he continued, Nigerians were still suffering at the hands of Disco’s management.

But until all the EDCs answer for the massive fraud they committed, particularly the way they left businesses and consumers in the dark, Mr. Zubair added, “this is not enough.”

The WAMAC director stated that the organization has continued to engage in sensitization to support exposing the fraud in the electricity sector and promoting good governance while encouraging Nigerians to demand accountability in all areas of the country’s sector.

Mr. Eket Obonga, a guest lecturer and the national secretary of the Nigeria Electricity Consumer Advocacy Network (NECAN), claimed during his presentation at the town hall meeting that the electricity distribution companies were engaging in widespread sharp practices and corruption through the consumer billing and metering systems.

The DisCos’ actions have caused a significant loss for consumers and the entire market value chain, according to Obonga, who spoke on the topic of “Issues of Systematic Corruption In Public And Private Sectors: A Deep Dive Into Electricity Sector In Ondo State.”

Customers that fall prey to this complex thievery become apathetic when it comes to paying monthly invoices, which reduces sector revenues.

Additionally, he noted, “the Discos continue to defraud the customers out of enormous sums of money through these fraudulent practices that have continued unabatedly.”

Mr. Obonga suggested a remedy to the ongoing problem in the power industry and stated that it was high time to launch a big consumer awareness campaign to inform the greater people about the need to eradicate the “evil corruption” in the discos before it expanded its tentacles.

According to the Daily Trust, representatives from CSOs, the media, community-based organizations, religious and community leaders, market women groups, PWDs, NOA, security agencies, and more attended the town hall gathering.

Fast-tracking the battle against corruption through community involvement was one of the resolutions made by the attendees at the end of the town hall meeting in a communique signed by Mr. Zubair Abdurra’uf Idrisz, WAMAC Executive Director/Project Manager. “Community leaders and participants urged the populace to treat the threat of corruption in all sectors with the utmost seriousness,” is one example of this.

However, it urged participants to become ambassadors for the fight against corruption in the nation by going beyond Town Hall gatherings.

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