Electricity hike: NSE tasks DisCos on transparency, accountability

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By Angela Atabo

The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), has called on electricity distribution companies to be transparent and accountable while implementing the new tariff.

NSE President, Mrs Margaret Oguntala, made the call in Abuja, at the Quarterly Presidential Media Parley with the theme “Charting New Paths for Growth and Development through Engineering.”

Oguntala said that although the NSE was not against the tariff increase, customers should be protected and their needs met without being short-changed.

She also called for strict sanctions on electricity distribution companies that failed to meet the minimum 20 hours of supply to the customers.

“Policies are made but what is the framework for implementing these policies? How effective are they in the long run?

“If there are no sanctions for the DisCos and you claim to be giving someone in B and A 20 hours of supply but you are not actually doing so, what happens?

“We are saying that there must be sanctions for defaults and do you do that where there are shortfalls?

“The DisCos must be held responsible, which means that the metering must be very transparent.

“We have asked the question of what will happen during downtime when there are repairs; all these must be put into consideration for the policy to work.’’

Oguntala equally stressed the need to help indigenous companies to grow, adding that it was the only way the nation’s economy would grow and also provide jobs for young Nigerians.

She also recommended the establishment of a construction fund with a single digit interest rate that would finance projects for Nigerian companies.

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The president reiterated NSE’s  commitment to support sustainable development and national development in Nigeria.

She said that it was the responsibility of engineers to create, design and build; bringing solutions to problems and transforming the environment for betterment of life.

According to Oguntala, her administration is running on five strong pillars as the strategic agenda for the two-year tenure.

“We are intentional about putting our voice and actions in the public domain, especially concerning our professional opinion on matters of national importance.

“In fact, one of the cardinal objectives of the NSE is to provide value-adding professional advice to government and other stakeholders in nation building.

“This is for the purpose of achieving holistic and sustainable development for our dear country on all fronts.

“Believing that engineering forms the formidable bedrock for holistic development of any nation, we have called this media parley to put out our views and opinions on some topical issues bordering on critical aspects of development in Nigeria,” she said.

Oguntala said that the NSE was being repositioned to strategically contribute to nation building through its agenda of membership development and improving stakeholders’ collaborations.

She said others included re-enforcing international relations mechanisms, re-imaging the NSE for better publicity and governance structure and improved community impact

The president said that following the pillars outlined above, NSE had been engaging with strategic stakeholders in different sectors for collaborations and partnerships that would ultimately yield the desired outcomes.

She said the NSE was partnering with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs on advocacy for Vocational Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (V-STEM) education, especially amongst female children.

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Oguntala said that partnership on a Mentor/Mentee scheme that would stimulate the interests of girl-children in V-STEM education, which would ultimately be to the advantage of Nigeria’s rapid technological advancement in the future, was also in view.

She added that the NSE was also supporting the resuscitation of the Junior Engineers, Technologists and Scientists (JETS) Club in secondary schools by organising National competitions among others. (NAN)

Edited by Chijioke Okoronkwo

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