Nigeria: Democracy Day - Nigerians Now Report "Less Use of Generators" - Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari speaking on Democracy Day

Many Nigerians are reporting less use of generators due to improved power supply, President Muhammadu Buhari said on Tuesday.

The president spoke in his broadcast to Nigerians to mark this year's Democracy Day.

"In the area of power generation, Nigerians from all parts of the country continue to report better power supply and less use of generators. This underscores the effectiveness of the methodical plan to deliver incremental and uninterrupted power supply to our homes, markets, offices and factories.

"The country achieved 5,222.3 MW representing the highest peak of power generated onto the national grid and delivered to customers in December, 2017. With new facilities, repairs and rehabilitations by government and private investors, generation capability now exceeds 7,500 MW," he said.

The president's claim is expected to remain contentious among Nigerians as many parts of the country still experience several hours and days of darkness. In some parts of states like Ondo and Lagos, residents have not had electricity for several months due to challenges with the electricity distribution companies on diverse issues such as transformers.

On Tuesday, the president also spoke strongly against continuous deployment of estimated billing to electricity consumers.

Issues around estimated billing of power consumers have been on for years forcing the government to mandate electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) to be more proactive.

In April, a bill to criminalise the issuance of estimated electricity bill emerged at House of Representatives. The bill is sponsored by the Majority Leader of the House, Hakeem Gbajabiamila.

In his Democracy Day speech, Mr Buhari expressed his administration's intention to allow lawful interventions from interested parties to eliminate estimated billing.

"This administration is committed to lawful interventions to ensure the operators of the distribution business live up to expectations especially in the areas of distribution capacity, service delivery, collection efficiency, and metering to eliminate contentious estimated billing," he said.

Mr Buhari recently accused a former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, of not delivering on a $16 billion power project.

"One of the former Heads of State between that time was bragging that he spent more than 16 billion American dollars, not Naira, on power. Where is the power? Where is the power? And now we have to pay the debts."

Mr Obasanjo responded, describing Mr Buhari's statement as one made out of ignorance.

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