Are Nigerians Responsible for the Poor Electricity Supplies?
Electricity supply has greatly improved in this my area of Port Harcourt.
The only problem I have now is that that most of my neighbors still do not see any reason why they should pay their bills. This is not just a problem with my neighbors, I believe it is a general problem with Nigerians.
A lot Nigerians still believe that electricity should be free to all citizens. Even the rich folks in Nigeria still think NEPA/PHCN/PHED has not done enough to deserve even a kobo payment from them. This is bad way of thinking and a good way of killing our public corporations in Nigeria. Someone once asked me ‘why should I pay for electricity?’ This is why NEPA/PHCN/PHED has remained an unprofitable corporation since its inception. It is true that most times, NEPA has surprised us with their ridiculous amounts as bills, but this is not enough reason why people should not pay their bills. If NEPA gives you a bill of 10k per month and you think this is unfair, why not pay at least 3k which you think is fair while you protest against the balance? This way, the industry will grow.
There was a time in my apartment that I often personally climbed into the ceiling to disconnect my neighbors electricity. That was the only way I got them to pay their share of the bill. And it worked most times. I had used that strategy to ensure that the bill does not climb above 15k. With that kind of plan, we can comfortably share the amount and get neighbors to pay. But since I stopped doing that, the bill has now climbed up to 35k and I am sure between February (when the last bill was served) and now, it must have hit a 100k+. Now that I am tired of climbing into people’s ceiling, I have come to the conclusion that if NEPA/PHCN/PHED cannot develop a strategy on how to collect their monies, why I should risk myself to help them do their job.
Funny enough, the same neighbors who sometimes find it hard to pay between 800Naira to 1.5k per month for public power will spend more than the same amount to fuel their generators for less than ten hours usage daily. Yet NEPA supplies us more than thirty hours of electricity per month.
Public power generation business has remained unprofitable in Nigeria not because the sector is an unprofitable sector but because Nigerians have a bad attitude towards patronizing public goods.
How can electricity be an unprofitable venture, electricity is a basic need, everybody needs electricity, and every industry needs it. In fact, it should be the most profitable sector in Nigeria. It is only in a country like Nigeria that such a sector will declare loss at all time. Something is not right somewhere in that industry. Something is not right with Nigerians.