Power Sector Losses N487bn in 11 Months

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Data from the Office of Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinabajo, indicated that between January 1 and November 30, 2018, Nigeria’s privatised power sector lost a total of N487.504 billion revenues due to constraints which included shortage of gas; grid unreliability and distribution limitations.

The data obtained by THISDAY from the Advisory Power Team in Osinbajo’s office, showed that for this period, the average volume of electricity generated and distributed daily to Nigerian homes and offices was 3780 megawatts (MW) per day, while an average of 3041MW was constrained from getting to consumers by these limitations.

Coming at a time the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has approved 115 private firms to participate in procuring and installing meters to electricity consumers in Nigeria under its new scheme, the Meter Assets Provider (MAP), the industry data equally explained that the total volume of gas supplied by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to gas power generation plants in the country for the 11-month period was 227,706 million standard cubic feet (mmscf).

According to the data, Nigeria’s power sector attained a peak generation of about 5,222MW on December 18, 2017 – the first ever, but has not produced power up to that level since then.
It noted: “Estimated amount lost to insufficient gas supply, distribution, transmission and water reserves to date in 2018 – N488,881,000,000.”

Meanwhile, the NERC which recently disclosed that six out of every 10 users of grid generated electricity supplied by the 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos) in Nigeria have remained without meter, has approved for 115 operators to participate in its MAP programme.

The NERC had stated that the non-availability of meters to this number of power users was sustaining the Discos’ practice of estimated billing, and indicated it was about to introduce a regulation to cap estimated bills given every month to consumers by the Discos.

It equally noted that in the regulation which it has asked for stakeholders’ input, consumers who reject meters installed at their premises by Discos would be cut off from electricity supplies.
In the consultation paper on capping of estimated bills which NERC posted on its website, the commission said the 11 Discos with a customer base of 8,292,840, have been able to provide meters for just 3,591,168, while 4,701,672 have not been unmetered as at August 2018.

NERC explained that the percentage of unmetered customers was 57, adding that the practice of estimated billing by the Discos have resulted in payment apathy. It said to cap estimated billing by Discos, it was considering options such as a cap on estimated billing based on the projected average monthly consumption of each tariff class in the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) model; application of the average consumption of each tariff class within a franchise area as the cap for estimated billing of unmetered customers; and capping the estimated bill of consumers within a business unit to the average vending of the same tariff class within the area.

Similarly, in a new schedule of ‘no objection’ on the MAP it recently released, the commission stated that 115 firms have had their applications to participate in the scheme reviewed and approved.

The firms, THISDAY learnt would this week also participate in an industry-wide meeting between the regulatory agency; Discos; and financial institutions amongst others, in a bid to put finishing touches to the MAP scheme which NERC expects would take off from first quarter of 2019.