Chineme Okafor in Abuja
As the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, and the 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos) continue to trade blame over poor service delivery, the total volume of electricity available for distribution to the country has remained at a low level of 3,838 megawatts (MW), THISDAY has learnt.
THISDAY gathered Thursday from the webpage of the Advisory Power Team in the office of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo that the volume of power available to the Discos was 3,838MW, while about 2,990MW could not be generated or constrained on account of inadequate gas supply, poor distribution facilities, limitations from the transmission network and water management constraints.
The generation figures indicated that between July 12 and 18, when the blame game between Fashola and the Discos became intensified, the country had 3,888MW; 3,802MW; 3,659MW; 3,759MW; 3520MW; 3600MW; and 3,838MW.
According to the date, the power sector failed to generate 3,764MW; 3,763MW; 3,974MW; 3,766MW; 3,509MW; 3,632MW and 2,990MW respectively within the seven-day period.
The total amount of money the sector lost on account of this was also put at N12.171 billion.
The website said: “On July 16, 2018, average power sent out was 3,520MWh/hour (down by 238.88MWh/h from the previous day). 1,392MW was not generated due to unavailability of gas. 34.2MW was not generated due to unavailability of transmission infrastructure, while 1,763.2MW was not generated due to high frequency resulting from unavailability of distribution infrastructure. 320MW was recorded as losses due to water management.
“The power sector lost an estimated N1,685,000,000 on July 16, 2018 due to insufficient gas supply, distribution infrastructure and transmission infrastructure.”
It added: “On July 15, 2018, average power sent out was 3,759MWh/hour (up by 99.99MWh/h from the previous day). 1,996.6MW was not generated due to unavailability of gas. 33MW was not generated due to unavailability of transmission infrastructure, while 1,416.5MW was not generated due to high frequency resulting from unavailability of distribution infrastructure. 320MW was recorded as losses due to water management.”
The date also showed that the power sector lost an estimated N1,808,000,000 on July 15, 2018 due to insufficient gas supply, distribution infrastructure and transmission infrastructure.
Fashola and the Discos have recently been at each other’s throats, with the minister asking the Discos to boost their service levels or quit the sector.
The minister had also said among other things, that the Discos did not have exclusive distribution licences in their various networks, which implied that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) could further break their networks into new distribution franchises, especially in areas yet to be adequately served.
He had also tasked the NERC to step up its regulation of the sector and discipline any of the Discos that fails in its responsibilities as regards metering and network improvements.
But the Discos promptly took a swipe at the federal government for asking them to either upgrade their efficiency levels in the market or quit the stage.
They equally faulted the government’s order to the NERC, claiming it has largely created more confusion in the operations of the country’s electricity sector than it had helped it.
They argued that no amount of government’s order would stop the sector from imminent collapse.
The power distributors also accused the government of being economical with the truth on its claims of improvement in power generation in the country.
According to them, generation capacity as at January 2015 was at 6,421MW and not 4,000MW as often claimed by the government.