The federal government on Monday said that it did not grant exclusive operational rights to the 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos) in their areas of operation when it privatised the distribution assets in 2013, ThisDay reports.

It also said that none of the Discos could claim such exclusive rights on any of the distribution areas, except they can guarantee their ability to consistently provide electricity services to the areas. Following from this, the government, which also accused the Discos of frequently instigating industrial disharmony in the country’s electricity sector, stated that their opposition to the “eligible customers” clause declaration was unlawful and unfair. The clause allows certain classes of consumers to deal with the generation companies directly.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, stated this at the 15th edition of the monthly power sector operators’ meeting in Jos, capital of Plateau State. He also claimed that some of the operational actions of the Discos have largely contributed to the existing problems in the power sector. Alleging that the Discos have often blackmailed other operators in the sector with false information from their trade association – the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) – Fashola said ANED does not enjoy the recognition of government.