Amid the current nationwide power supply outages and the sufferings caused Nigerians due to low power generation and resultant inadequate load allocation to distribution companies (Discos) by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), many of the Discos have continued to apologise to their customers.
The outages, which started last week in many of the Discos’ franchise areas in the country has worsened the energy crisis facing Nigerian citizens, who have been battling with petrol scarcity and price hike across the country since last year.
THISDAY observed that many electricity consumers, especially those on Band C, D and E, which are areas that receive the lowest duration of power supply, have been having prolonged power outages since last week.
The Discos including Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), Ikeja Electric (IE), Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC), Abuja Discos among others have blamed the situation to the drop in power generation.
They also attributed the situation to the TCN, whom they said had been forced to reduce load allocation to Discos as power generated and sent to the TCN-managed national grid had declined lately.
In its notice to customers, EKEDC said the irregular power supply being experienced by them was due to reduced load capacity from the national grid.
In a statement signed by the Disco’s General Manager, Corporate Communications, Mr. Godwin Idemudia, EKEDC apologised to its customers in Lagos and Ogun states over irregular power supply they were currently experiencing. According to him, the outage affected some customers in some parts of Badagry, Lagos, and Ogun State under Agbara District of the company.
He assured the residents that normalcy would be restored to the affected communities as soon as the capacity was increased.
Idemudia added: “What we are presently getting from the Grid is not enough to meet the demand of our customers.
“At the same time, this is to notify our esteemed customers in Lagos Island of an impending maintenance work scheduled for Sunday, Jan.22, between 9am -1pm.
“This maintenance work will require Fowler injection substation to be temporarily shut down. So, Ikoyi and environs under Island District, will be out of supply during the period of the outage.
“We are therefore appealing to customers to bear with us. EKEDC highly regrets any inconveniences caused by this irregular supply.”
He also implored the company’s customers to be vigilant at this crucial time to prevent hoodlums from vandalising their cables.
On its part, Ikeja Electric in its notice published on the company’s Twitter handle, also apologised for the current poor power supply being experienced in certain parts of their network lately.
“This is due to the inadequate allocation received, hence the load shedding. We regret the inconvenience this has caused and wish to assure that we are engaging the responsible stakeholders in the electricity value chain to improve the situation.
“This is due to a drop in power generation and allocation. Our technical team is working with relevant stakeholders to improve the situation,” Ikeja Disco added.
In the same vein, BEDC in a statement, empathise with its customers over the shortage of supply currently being experienced in its franchise states.
According to Benin Disco, “We regret the inconvenience cause by the situation, and appeal for your patience and understanding even as we relentlessly engage stakeholders in the electricity value chain, in a bid to resolve the situation and improve supply.”
However, EEDC in its statement, said power generated on 18 January, 2023 stood at 3,650 megawatts (mw), adding that, “Out of this quantum generated, allocation to EEDC was 268mw. This would be distributed across Abia, Anambra, Ebony, Enugu and Imo States.”
Also, Abuja Disco in an update to customers, said total power allocated to it by the TCN were 377mw on January 18 and 404mw on January 29, 2023 for distribution to its franchise areas in Abuja, Nasarawa, Kogi and Niger States.
It also attributed the current power supply to the inadequate power allocation by the TCN, appealing to its customers to be patient while it worked with stakeholders to improve the situation.
“This is to inform our esteemed customers that we are aware of the decline in power supply across our franchise areas. This is due to the insufficient load allocation received, hence we are compelled to load shed power temporarily across the different areas.
“While we sincerely regret the inconvenience caused, we appeal for your patience as we are in collaboration with all our stakeholders to ensure power supply is improved and stabilised soonest”, Abuja Disco said.
Similarly, PHEDC in its notice to customers said, “Kindly be informed that due to the present constraints on the grid, load allocation to all Discos have been reduced and this is impacting our capacity to to supply power to our customers. However, we are engaging with TCN and NCC to manage the situation and as soon as the situation improves, stable power supply will be restored. All inconveniences are regretted.”
Meanwhile, the latest power outages that started last week in many of the Discos’ franchise areas in the country have worsened the energy crisis facing Nigerian citizens, who have been battling with petrol scarcity and price hike since the first quarter of 2022 till date.
Although, petrol remains regulated and the pump price set by the government is between N162 to N170, many petrol selling outlets, especially the ones owned by members of the Independent Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) are selling it between N250 and N400.
Last week, there were news making the rounds that the federal government, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) and the marketing companies had secretly increased the price of petrol, which was the reason the product is N400 in Lagos.
But the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, had debunk the news, insisting that government had not approved any price increase.
The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) comprising of TotalEnergies, Ardova, MRS, Mobil, Oando, NIPCO among others, have also debunked any increase in fuel price.
MOMAN in a statement issued last Friday, said the current hike in petrol price was as a result of high cost of hiring Daughter vessels to convey products from the highsea to their terminals, adding that it sympathized with customers and Nigerians over the current challenges with getting fuel.
MOMAN stated, “These queues are caused by exceptional high demand and bottlenecks in the fuel distribution chain. The major cause is the shortage and high (US dollar) costs of daughter vessels for ferrying products from mother vessels to depots along the coast. Next is the inadequate number of trucks to meet the demand to deliver products from depots to filling stations nationwide.
“These high logistics and exchange rate costs continue to put pressure on prices at the pump. Over the past three months, staff and management of MOMAN companies have worked diligently at depots and filling stations to relieve the stress faced by customers through the Christmas and New Year period. Our members have again agreed to extend depot loading hours as well as keep strategically situated service stations open for longer hours to ease access to fuels for our customers.
“MOMAN shall continue to use its best endeavours to ensure that the product is sold at the pump at prices currently approved by the Regulatory Authorities, despite pressure on price by demand and costs in our immediate operating environment.
“A final resolution to these challenges will be the full deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector to encourage the liberalisation of supply and long-term investments in distribution assets. We urge the government to work towards this end goal.”