From Adedeji Joseph, Ilorin
The Kwara State House of Assembly has urged the National Assembly to quicken action on the passage of a bill criminalising arbitrary billing system in Nigeria.
The House resolution came during consideration of a report titled “Total Shut Down of Electricity Supply in Offa and Some parts of Oyun Local Government Area of Kwara State”.
Power outages, cannibalization and theft of public electricity transformers has become rampant in the Kwara State capital in recent times, leading to seeming unending blackouts in various parts of the city including Government Reservation Areas (GRA).
In some cases, power consumers had been asked to raise money on their own ranging from N400,000 and half a million to buy parts to fix such cases of thefts and still pay for services of installations
Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Ali Ahmad, who read the resolution on the report presented by the Chairman, House Committee on Energy, Works and Transport, Hon. Mathew Babaoye, expressed confidence that the passage of the Bill, would go a long way to curb sharp practices in the energy sector.
Hon. Ahmad said that unless there was a political will to address the problems in the power sector, these challenges bedeviling the nation would persist because electricity consumers were often at the mercy of power distribution companies (DISCOS) who are not willing to invest in the sector.
The House urged Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) under which Kwara State falls, to always ensure that estimated billings given to consumers in Kwara State is commensurate with the power supplied.
The Legislature, which appealed to leaders of Offa Community, not to quit IBEDC service, urged IBEDC to always observe regular maintenance of its equipment for better service delivery.
Also, the Speaker said the House equally enjoined the state government to direct the Ministry of Energy to liaise with IBEDC head office in Ibadan, Oyo State to open business hub in all parts of Kwara.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Mathew Babaoye, had observed among other things, that there were arbitrary billings for consumers in Offa, Oyun Local Governments and other parts of the state where power supply is only four to five hours per day, pointing out that the problem had been lingering for long.
Meanwhile, the House Leader, Hon. Hassan Oyeleke has on behalf of the people of Offa, commended the House for its prompt response to the lingering problem,saying that its prompt response had restored power supply to the area