Measuring Improvment in Electricity Supply

If you haven’t already seen President Jonathan’s interview on CNN yesterday, you can see it here. It really wasn’t so bad. Lots of talking points but I won’t go into all of them here.

One thing that irks me is the way the government measures improvement in electricity supply. Basically by “asking people” on the streets. The SA to the president on something also frequently takes polls on twitter, presumably attempting to measure the improvements in electricity supply. I have nothing against that as a PR exercise. I do however think it unfortunate when “asking people” becomes the default way to measure improvements. Given that at any given point in time electricity supply would have improved for somebody but would also be worse for somebody else.

It is 2013 after all. It should not be so difficult to publish actual data on electricity generation and supply. It would probably take about 10 seconds for all the generating companies to publish their daily output. Maybe another 10 seconds for the transmission company to publish the amount of electricity it buys from the generating companies and the amount it sells to the distribution companies. Another 30 seconds for the distribution companies to publish how much electricity they buy from the transmission companies each day. It really should not be that difficult to publish these daily numbers.

The ministry of power and the NERC have websites. Publish them there. I know they have these numbers because every now and then they release it to the press. Unless they don’t really want us to know. Perhaps I should test the freedom of information bill.

Bottom line. It is 2013. Don’t “ask people” if electricity supply has improved. Publish daily numbers and we will see that electricity supply has improved.

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