Nigerians optimistic of improved service as power reforms inch along
Nigerians have expressed optimism at the prospects of improved power supply as the reforms being undertaken in the sector inches along. This was revealed in a survey recently carried out by Phillips Consulting Limited, on the impact of the ongoing power sector reforms.
The survey was conducted from December 15, 2012, to January 31, 2013, and responses were gathered via an online questionnaire. A total of 412 people from 26 states participated in the survey.
“It must be noted that a large proportion of respondents believe that the ongoing reforms will improve the state of power supply in the country,” said Phillips Consulting Limited, in a report on their findings from the survey.
“This is the message that should drive the future decisions and actions by government, relevant agencies, as well as current and intending investors in the sector,” according to the report.
The survey revealed that although many respondents showed their dissatisfaction and frustration with the current state of power supply, 41 percent stated that they believe the ongoing reforms will improve power supply in the country; 50 percent indicated they were not sure what to expect, while only 9 percent stated they had no faith in the reforms.
Nigeria is selling majority stakes in power plants and letting private investors acquire as much as 60 percent stakes in 11 distribution companies spun out of the former state-owned utility, Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
BusinessDay reported last Friday that three major preferred bidders who are said to have a stake in over 60 percent of the distribution segment of the market have made requisite payments to the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), preparatory to acquisition of the companies.
Other findings from the survey showed that the current PHCN practice in which a monthly service charge was deducted from customer payments was unpopular with most of the respondents (59%) and only 41 percent supported the practice.
Most respondents also prefer the new pay-as-you-go metering system, as 78 percent of them do not want to return to the old metering system.
The survey results also showed that respondents had a lack of faith in the ability of PHCN staff to resolve issues/complaints effectively and professionally.
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