The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) yesterday reacted on the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) opposition to its activities, saying the association has no legal backing to protect the interests of the distribution companies (DisCos) just like other associations in the power sector.

Responding, the chief executive officer (CEO) ANED, Azu Obiaya, said the association’s activities were guaranteed by Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the right of association.

A statement signed by the CEO said, “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 (APGC), Nigerian Gas Association (NGA), National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) etc.”

ANED said it 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.

NERC had in a communique issued after a meeting with the DisCos on August 27, 2018, said ANED’s activities were discouraged and that the association should not interfere with policy directives or regulatory pronouncements made by the minister of power or the commission.

ANED also said its expression or promotion of a viewpoint that is contrary to that of an established regulation or policy should not be construed as interference particularly, in the context of the workings of an industry with multiple stakeholder interests.

The association said there was the need to address the widening tariff gap that hinders DisCos from performing their obligations due to freezing of the residential tariffs (R2) in 2015, for 18 months, removal of Collection Losses in 2015; non-implementation of five tariff reviews.

It also said N435.7 billion of under-recovered revenue, among others were the regulatory responsibilities NERC should focus on.

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