Nigeria power


Your coverage of Nigeria's power privatisation process was excellent (African Business September 2002). Your correspondent, Neil Ford, explained the difficulties that NEPA and the Nigeria government will have in selling the project to potential investors. It's not for me to denigrate their efforts, but one of the principal stumbling blocks to secure the desperately needed funding that Nigeria's electricity sector needs is NEPA's dismal track-record in collecting revenues. Amazingly, this extends to obtaining payments from all manner of customers; from government ministries to individual households.

Has NEPA considered installing pre-paid meters for their customers. When this was introduced in the Dar es Salaam region, it gathered a lot of resistance. They were used to that whole rigmarole of receiving a bill, checking the details against the meter reading and then trudging off to the bank or a TANESCO office to pay the bill.

Now, TANESCO's customers simply need to pay for charging a key at any TANESCO outlet. They don't need to budget to meet a future bill and can keep a close watch on the energy they are consuming.

Despite the initial objections, the system is proving highly popular. For the supply company, the meters are more expensive than the standard equipment. But TANESCO also gets many benefits. These include cash-flow in advance of consumption, and savings on a whole tranche of administrative costs. These costs include taking readings, generating a paper bill, posting the bill, accounting for the payments received, and dealing with the bad debts that usually require engineers to be sent to cut off supplies.

I wonder if the management at NEPA might care to respond to this suggestion?

Tariq Faujas



Kenya Elections


The Kenyan Community Abroad (KCA) wishes to share its concern about the emerging political climate in Kenya, particularly the conduct of the outgoing Moi government. President Moi, who is constitutionally barred from seeking another term, is facing unprecedented circumstances in Kenya's short history; i.e. to guide the country through a critical transitory processes of changing the presidency and overseeing the most comprehensive revision of Kenya's constitution. We recognize the difficulty of this task in a nation so polarized by ethnic and social strife. However, three major issues concern us.

First, the manner in which President Moi is pushing the nomination of Hon Uhuru Kenyatta as the presidential candidate for KANU is dictatorial and bound to further fracture the nation along ethnic...

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