By Emmanuel Addeh
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has said that 26 persons died while 114 persons were injured in electricity-related accidents in the second quarter of 2020.
This, it stated indicated a significant decline in the health and safety performance of the operators during 2020/Q2 when compared with the first quarter of 2020, when nine deaths and 4 injuries were recorded.
NERC said the commission, in line with its mandate to ensure safe and reliable electricity services, has commenced enforcement on some of the incidents involving various safety breaches during the quarter.
On account of the commission’s stand for zero tolerance on safety breaches in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) and in line with its strategic goals 2017-2020, the commission disclosed that it had intensified its monitoring and implementation of various safety programmes aimed at reducing accidents in the sector.
“The commission received a total of 114 accident reports from the licenced operators during the second quarter of 2020. The accidents, unfortunately, resulted in 26 deaths and 12 injuries of various degrees involving both employees of the companies and the third parties,” NERC said in its latest quarterly report.
The regulator said the safety programmes being implemented by the commission included, but not limited to, the standardisation of system protection schemes, public enlightenment on the safe use of electricity, a review of an operational procedure for Distribution System Operators (DSO) on fault clearing and engagement of stakeholders on Right of Way (RoW) violation.
Also, NERC stated that for the shares of electricity generation by fuel sources for the first and second quarters of 2020, gas continued to dominate the electricity generation mix accounting for 81.53 per cent of the electricity generated during the second quarter of 2020.
“This implies that approximately 8.15kWh of every 10kWh of electric energy generated in Nigeria in the second quarter of 2020 came from gas. Relative to the preceding quarter, there was 8.08 percentage points decrease in the share of electric energy generated from hydro which accounted for only 18.47 per cent of the total energy output.
“The commission notes with concern the low security of supply associated with having just two energy mixes and significant dominance of gas fuel as acts of vandalism of gas pipelines could result in serious grid instability, as was experienced in 2016,” it stated.
On its financial report during the period, it disclosed that the total revenue realised by the commission was N2.23billion representing a decrease of 31.35 per cent from the revenue recorded during the first quarter of 2020.
NERC said the decrease in the revenue was due to the 31.37 per cent decrease in the revenue realised from the operating levy (i.e. market charges) and 29.72 per cent decrease in other internally generated revenue realised during the second quarter of 2020, adding that the total expenditure of the commission declined to N1.36 billion, from N1.94 billion incurred in the preceding quarter.
“A comparison of the revenue and expenditure of the commission in the quarter under review indicates lesser expenditure incurred when compared to actual cash receipts, showing a positive net cash flow of N0.87billion with liabilities of N218million as at the end of the second quarter of 2020.
“The slowing in the revenue and expenditure of the commission is largely due to the national lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic and its impact,” NERC lamented.