Power Sector Records 4.9% Rise in Generation, Income Shortfall


Nigeria’s power sector recorded a 4.9 per cent increase in average generation in February, when compared to its January output, data obtained from the Advisory Power Team in the office of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has disclosed.

The data obtained by THISDAY, equally disclosed that between January and February 2019, the sector equally recorded a 7.2 per cent rise in the amount of revenue it lost to various sources of operational constraints.

This is just as a former Managing Director of the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET), Mr. Rumundaka Wonodi, has advised the federal government on how best to get the sector working in the next four years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure.

The data explained that in January average power generation was 3,952 megawatts (MW) while that of February was 4,148MW, indicating an increase by 196MW or 4.9 per cent.

It further explained that in January, the sector lost N41.371 billion and N44.383 billion respectively, indicating a difference of N3.012 billion or 7.2 per cent.
It added that the total volume of power that could not be generated in the sector on account of various constraints for the two months were 2,780MW for January and 3,302MW for February.

Meanwhile, Wonodi, has asked the government to take decisive steps in aligning its leadership and policy pursuits in the sector.
Wonodi added: “Policies must be consistent with the reform agenda most importantly, the rules and contracts as intended. For example, the government cannot wash its hands from NBET responsibility to Gencos on the PPAs by saying that it will no longer support the payment assurance.
“It must because that is the premise of the reform and NBET PPA. Another example is the cannibalisation of the Discos through some controversial micro-grid implementation,” said Wonodi.

He further stated: “Investment in transmission. This has to be huge and inspirational. We must aim for the heavens and work exceedingly hard such that when we fail, we be stuck at the clouds. We need a backbone transmission network and it is time to bring about the transmission network development fund, a fund that will be market based.

“Its projects must be proposed by the ISO (independent system operator) and approved by NERC in consultation with stakeholders and the stakeholder advisory panel (SAP).

“It is important project identification is taken away from sole control of the TCN. The ISO or at least the functions of the MO and SO need to come under the control of NERC and market participants.”

Continuing, Wonodi, noted: “There is an urgent need to expand and enhance Disco distribution capacity. Capital can come through recapitalisation of the companies using government equity. This to my mind is the greatest challenge to sector. Cost reflective tariffs must also come into place.”