The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) says the constitution empowers it to protect the interest of electricity distribution companies (DisCos).
In a statement on Wednesday, Azu Obiaya, chief executive officer of ANED, said the association will not fold its arms when its members are endangered.
He said contrary to the directive of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), ANED’s opposition to a policy or regulation should not be construed as interference.
NERC had ordered ANED to steer clear of policy directives in the sector, saying the association is not a licensee.
Obiaya acknowledged that the association is not a licensee in the electricity sector, but said: “Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) provides the right of association, in pursuit of a common interest. The DisCos, with their formation of, and membership of ANED, are exercising this right, no different from similar entities along the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) value chain, such as the Association of Power Generating Companies, Nigerian Gas Association, National Union of Electricity Employees, etc.
“ANED represents the DisCos with a principal mandate of advocacy, to protect the interests of its member companies directly and, indirectly, the incomes of a 22,000-employee workforce; the investors who have sunk more than $1.4 billion in the acquisition and operations of the DisCos to date; and our customers who seek to enjoy the benefits of the best practices that result from the interaction of our members under the ANED umbrella.
“Rather, the bigger and more pressing issue for us is the widening tariff gap that precludes our members’ ability to meet the obligations of their Performance Agreements, that is a result of factors such as the freezing of the residential class of tariffs (R2) in 2015, for eighteen months; removal of collection losses, again in 2015; non-implementation of five (5) Minor Reviews; N435.7 billion of sculpting or under-recovery of revenue; the non-recovery of required revenue under MYTO-2015, for January 2016; non-implementation of MYTO-2015 February 2018 adjustments, etc. – all of which are regulatory responsibilities.”