Chineme Okafor in Abuja

The audited financial books of the electricity generation, transmission and distribution companies in Nigeria’s electricity supply industry would be ready next month as statutorily demanded by regulatory agency – the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), a communique on the outcome of the recent power sector operators’ meeting has disclosed.

According to the communique which was sent to THISDAY yesterday in Abuja, operators at the meeting in Lagos agreed to conclude with NERC all outstanding issues in the compilation of their annual financial reports and submit them before the next meeting in a month’s time.

NERC had before now, continously slammed regulatory fines running into millions of naira on some of the operators who failed to comply with its requests for their audited books.
The communique however noted that at the next meeting, all the operators that are yet to submit their reports would work with NERC to have them in place.

“The meeting resolved to complete and submit all outstanding audited financial accounts of all operators before the next meeting in order to improve transparency within the sector,” said the communique.
It listed other things that were agreed at the meeting to include: “The meeting deliberated and resolved as follows: The minister reiterated that customer service should be the focus of the power sector and encouraged each operator and service provider to improve the user experience of its consumers, by improving metering and reducing estimated billings.

“The meeting noted that the family affected by the electrical accident at Oke-Ira, Ogba in Lagos State had been compensated by Ikeja Electric.

“All operators agreed to prioritise safety in all their undertakings to avoid future accidents. The meeting acknowledged the challenges of liquidity in the sector and efforts being made by government and international development partners to address these challenges,” it added.
On market revenue remittances which had become a challenge to the sector, the communique said: “The Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) reminded the meeting that all operators must pay their bills to NBET as well as their suppliers and service providers promptly, to ensure that the sector remains functional and friendly to investors.

“The meeting agreed on the importance of government MDAs paying their debts, and acknowledged the need for proper verification prior to payment, and also noted the ongoing verification and data collection exercise which is aimed at improving liquidity in the sector.”

It said on ongoing works in the sector that the the Ikot Ekpene switching station that was inaugurated on November 21, 2016 would take full advantage of the added capacity to deliver incremental power.
“Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) reported the progress of the projects in Shagamu, Ikeja West, Ajah, Ayobo, Omotosho, Ayede and Ogba which will be completed between April and the end of 2017. The projects, when completed, will improve power supply in Lagos State and its environs. TCN reported that the capacity of the grid is dynamic, and that with the inaugurations Ikot Ekpene switchyard, transmission capacity is now above 6500MVA.

“NNPC noted that work is ongoing to repair all pipelines vandalised in 2016 to restore gas supply to power plants,” it added.

The communique equally stated that “NERC announced that Abuja Disco was the best performing Disco in the third quarter of 2016. The score is based on rates of collections, metering progress, health and safety, among other indicators. Okpai Power Plant was announced as the best performing thermal plant in the third quarter of 2016, and Shiroro as the best performing hydroelectric plant. The score for generating plants was based on availability and general compliance with industry standards.”