Nigerians Advised To Prepare For Higher Electricity Tariffs

Nigerians have been advised by the Vice President; Yemi Osinbajo to prepare for the payment of higher electricity tariffs saying it had become inevitable.

Speaking yesterday at the sixth presidential business forum held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Osinbajo said: “There is no question at all that we must pay higher tariffs.”

He, however, said that government was not going to increase the tariffs for now but rather working towards cleaning the electricity value chain.

According to him, the N700 billion payment assurance guarantee set aside by government was to ensure uninterrupted payment for gas and liquidity in the power sector.

Osinbajo said the payment assurance guarantee was to fund a smooth transition “from where we are to a much more market-determined policy for electricity.”

He said that government was already working with the World Bank on this.

 

IBEDC Gets Knock Over ‘Crazybills’, Poor Metering

Residents and customers of the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) have berated the private power producing company for lacking the technical depth to serve the teeming populace within their jurisdiction.

 

OSUN DEFENDER team, in an opinion poll conducted in the state capital and some other towns showed that majority of the residents are dissatisfied with the services rendered by the company, but only had to patronise the outfit due to absence of a substitutable alternative.

 

Majority of the residents disclosed that IBEDC is exploiting customers through crazy bills and deliberate refusal to issue prepaid metre to the public who have paid for the item for over three years, some for even four years and even more. According to Mr. Olabisi Onabajo, a resident of Osogbo,  the issue of crazy bill is becoming unbearable, saying there is no justification for it at all and the power company must be checked by the regulatory commission so as to protect the masses from exploitation.

 

The economy is hard and the people do not have adequate resources to meet the rising cost of power, yet, the company is serving crazy bill for the people to deal with and should there be failure to meet up with the payment, they get disconnected without necessary measures. In his view, Mr. Kasali Oyetola, a fashion designer, disclosed that IBEDC officials no longer read the analog metres, they just bring bills indiscriminately and never bother about the complaints one presents to them.

 

“In the event that any of their officials put down your complaints, it takes like eternity for them to correct such anomaly. In fact, they treats customers like a piece of shit maybe because they know we do not have alternative”, he added.

 

Kasali stressed that IBEDC is not serious about giving out prepaid metres because it will check their excesses, especially in respect of crazy bills and various self-designed means of extortion in one way or the other. A source who identified himself as Mr. Dele called on the Federal Government to come to the aid of the Nigerian masses, especially in the area of controlling crazy bills, which according to him can be checkmated through even distribution of prepaid metre.

 

He also emphasised the need for the regulatory agency to embark on massive oversight function to ensure that power distribution company do not just enjoy undue advantage over the people. He said the agency had on two occasions increased electricity tariff in favour of the companies, saying it is time to deal with their excesses. Elder Victor Erinfolabi, an Instrument Technician opined that the issue of IBEDC is fundamental and ought to be dealt with radically.

 

“First, the service they render is not stable, some communities across the state have been in darkness for months without solution or any attempt to appeal to them or even share with them the situational report on the issues, he said”.

 

In the view of Mr Oloyede Samuel, a retired Public Servant, he berated the private outfit running electricity in Nigeria as a whole, saying they have fallen short of expectation from Nigerians and there is a desperate need for the regulatory commission to check their excesses.

 

He added that the crazy bills situation was getting out of control, saying the IBEDC due to its need to meet certain targets at the end of every month, would always transfer the burden to the consumers, which he said, is unethical and illegal.

 

In her reaction, the PRO of IBEDC, Osogbo District Office, Mrs. Kikelomo Owoeye disclosed that the company is working towards having an efficient service delivery to its numerous customers across the state and would not relent until it achieve the set out objectives.

 

She disclosed that the company inherited a lot of outdated facilities and it is working to ensure that all of its facilities are upgraded and those that needs to be replaced would be done in the facility upgrading objectives, which is aimed at efficient service delivery.

 

“We are meeting with communities that are in darkness and discussing feasible ways the company is intending to employ towards resolving their unending blackout crisis and at the same time, we are embarking on facility enumeration exercise to enable us know the adequate facilities requirement of our customers such as metres, transformers, poles, cables and many facilities that would help in adequate service delivery.

 

All of these, when eventually put in place would help us to deal with the issues of crazy bills and inadequate availability of prepaid metres, not only in Osun but in all the state of the South-West”, she added.

Eight Suspected Electricity Vandals Arrested

Mr Emeka Ezeh, Head of Communications for the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), revealed that eight suspected vandals have been arrested in two weeks in various parts of the South-East. In his statement in Enugu on Friday, he stated that a middle aged man was also electrocuted while vandalising electrical installations.

 

Ezeh said that the electrocuted person and the eight suspected vandals were arrested in four states in Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States.

 

“Two suspects identified as Amaechi Akpu and Chigbo Ejebu were apprehended by youths of Onuore Agba community in Ebonyi for vandalising of a 300KVA Sub-station, property of EEDC located in the community.

 

“Members of Abor vigilance group also arrested a vandal identified as Emmanuel Izunna for vandalising 500KVA Igwe Umuenyiora 2 Sub-station located in Ogbunike in Anambra.

 

“At Ogidi, Anambra State, the vigilance group arrested two vandals identified as Chukwudi Oforka and Godwin Onwansa for vandalising Anaka Town Sub-station located in Ogidi community.

 

“While Ahmed Inusa, Aliu Abubakar and Umaru Jahe were arrested by vigilance group for vandalising the Umuabiahu 300KVA Sub-station located in Orlu, Imo State,’’ he said.

 

Ezeh, however, said that luck ran out on an unidentified vandal as he was electrocuted while attempting to vandalize Onuseleogu 100KVA Sub-station, property of EEDC, located at Emene Industrial Layout, Enugu.

 

“It was gathered that the vandal, who is a middle aged man, probably arrived at the substation when there was no supply and in the process of loosening the HV fuse, supply was restored and he was electrocuted.

 

“Items recovered from the victim were spanners, a torch light and pliers.

 

“His remains was evacuated to University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku-Ozalla morgue by the Police from Emene Division,’’ he said.

 

According to him, it is evident that the youths engaging in the act of vandalism have refused to heed the call by EEDC to shun this act and engage in meaningfully.

 

He said that the company remained optimistic that its intensified collaboration with critical stakeholders, vigilance groups and other security agencies would assist greatly in curtailing this rising trend.

 

“Customers are therefore encouraged to be on the alert and join hands with EEDC in protecting these installations serving them,’’ he advised.

 

Chinese Consortium To Build $5.8bn Mambila Hydroelectric Power Project In Nigeria

China Gezhouba Group’s consortium has secured a contract to build $5.8bn Mambila hydroelectric power project in Nigeria.

Upon completion, the hydroelectric projects will have a power generation capacity of 3,050MW.

The hydroelectric power plant will be located in Gembu, Taraba state, Nigeria. It is claimed to become the largest plant in Nigeria after completion.

The hydroelectric power project will include construction of four dams and 700km of transmission lines.

It will also feature two connecting roads with a total of 15.9km, two total 6.8km of diversion tunnel, two total of 7.6km tailrace tunnel, underground powerhouse, 12 impact water turbine and power generation system, 27,000 tons of gold knot security, and 184km approach road.

Under the terms of the contract, Nigeria will contribute about $870m to the project, representing 15% of overall cost.

The remaining cost of the project will be met by the China Energy Engineering through funding from the China Exim Bank.

Nigeria’s hydro power capacity is expected to exceed 4,500MW after the completion of the Mambilla power project.

In August, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) of Nigeria approved the development of the hydroelectric power project.

Due to funding constraints, the project faced many delays even as it was first conceived in 1982.

Responding to the executive council’s approval to the project last month, Nigeria Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola was quoted by Nigeria Today as saying: “Several efforts had been made to bring it to reality but I’m happy to announce that this government approved the contract today to joint ventures of Chinese Civil and Engineering company for the engineering and turn-key contract, including civil and electro-mechanical works for $5.792bn.”

Source: Energy Business Review

Nigeria Announces $5.8bn Deal For Record-Breaking Power Project

The government of Nigeria has announced the award of a $5.8 billion contract to build what will be the largest power plant in the country.

The 3,050-megawatt Mambila hydroelectric power project in the state of Taraba will be delivered by a consortium of Chinese state-owned construction firms.
The megaproject will feature four dams between 50 and 150 meters tall, and take six years to complete, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, told reporters in Abuja.
The Chinese Export-Import Bank will finance 85% of the development, with the Nigerian government contributing 15%.
Minister Fashola claimed the project will deliver far-reaching benefits.
“(Mambila) will have a transformational effect on all of Nigeria’s socio-economic development,” he said through a government spokesman, “It will have considerable positive impact on electricity supply nationwide, productivity, employment, tourism, technology transfer, rural development, irrigation, agriculture and food production.”

False starts

The Mambila hydropower plant has been in development for over 30 years, but previous administrations have made little progress.
In 2007, the Nigerian government awarded a $1.4 billion contract to two Chinese construction firms for a 2,600-megawatt plant, but the agreement broke down soon after.
Attempts were made to revive the deal without success. But the deadlock was broken by conversations between the presidents of China and Nigeria in 2016, according to the spokesman of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The major breakthrough in the execution of this project was achieved when President Muhammadu Buhari initiated discussions at the level of the President of the Peoples Republic of China in the course of his State Visit (in 2016),” wrote government official Garba Shehu.
The meeting resulted in the creation of a consortium of Chinese companies to deliver the project, according to Shehu, and an agreement that the Chinese government would commit finance to it.

Power shortage

Despite being one of the largest economies in Africa, over 40% of Nigerians live without access to electricity, according to World Bank figures.
Hydropower, one of the cleanest and cheapest forms of power, is a key target for development as Nigeria is currently exploiting just a fraction of its potential resources.
The country is also seeking to shift away from oil dependency, after plummeting oil prices triggered a recession.
The clear need for the Mambila project could make it more likely to succeed, some analysts believe.
“The prospects of project implementation starting are perhaps stronger than in previous decades,” says Elizabeth Donnelly, deputy head of the Africa Programme at UK think tank Chatham House. “Nigeria continues, albeit slowly, with its complex power sector reform and badly needs to generate – and more importantly distribute – more power for its 180 million people.”
“Hydroelectricity is an important part of this mix, particularly for rural electrification.”

Risk factors

The location of the development could lead to complications.
“There is strong competition for land in Taraba state, which regularly sees outbreaks of ethno-religious violence,” says Donnelly. “Such a project, with its need to resettle people, could considerably worsen the conflict dynamics and humanitarian situation in the state.”
Environmental groups have also raised concerns about the potential impact.
“If the Mambila dam project does continue, it could mean disastrous environmental and social impacts for those already living in poverty along the banks of the Benue River,” warned NGO International Rivers,
The Nigerian government says that 100,000 people will be displaced by the development, and has pledged to resettle and compensate them.
Taraba state Governor, Darius Dickson Ishaku, has welcomed the project for its potential to boost tourism and agriculture.

Chinese interests

The power plant is one of several major Chinese investments in Nigeria, including multiple railway projects.
In January, Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi announced plans to invest a further $40 billion in Nigeria.
“Nigeria is seen as an important power that China wants good relations with,” says Yun Sun, a scholar of Chinese foreign policy at US think tank, The Stimson Center.
Sun adds that the primary motivation is financial. Investments such as the Mambila power plant make good business sense.
“Nigeria is using Chinese banks to hire Chinese companies for the project, which will create profits and jobs,” she says. “China also wants to identify large projects that make it look good and (Mambila) falls into this category.”
But while China is likely to gain from the deal, Sun sees higher risk on the Nigerian side.
“I am less optimistic about the financial impact on the Nigerian economy as the project is very large and there is a question about how Nigeria will repay the 85% finance from the Export-Import Bank,” she says. “There could be implications for the national debt.”
Source: CNN

Fashola Requests For Extension Of ‘Whistle-Blowing’ Policy To Power Sector

Babatunde  Fashola nMinister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola made an appeal in Enugu at the 16th Power Sector monthly meeting, sponsored by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, to the Federal Government to extend its ‘whistleblowing’ policy to the power sector to curb energy theft.

He said that available statistics revealed huge energy theft by Nigerians, adding that the problem had become a big challenge for not just the power distribution companies, but consumers as well.

According to him, if nothing is done, those who pay for energy consumption will continue to bear the overall cost.

The minister said that statistics revealed that only six million households consumed energy in the country, adding “if this is correct, it means that some people steal energy in the country, while only a few pay.

“The statistics cannot be correct and it is, therefore, necessary to extend whistleblowing to the power sector in order to expose those stealing our energy,” he said.

Fashola said that when all households who used energy were not captured, the ones captured were bound to pay more tariffs.

He called on Nigerians to be vigilant and report those who stole energy in their neighbourhood to law enforcement agencies.

He said that government was not pleased with most power distribution companies, whom he said, were far from attaining the mandate given to them since the privatisation of the sector.

The minister directs the distribution companies to call their staff to order, saying “they are giving their customers hard times through indiscriminate disconnections.

He said that efforts to improve power supply across the country were on course, adding that more megawatts of electricity would be added to the national grid before the end of the year.

 

Don’t Pay Electricity Bills If You’re Not Metered – FG

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) NERC, on June 11, directed MD customers not provided with meters to stop paying estimated bills presented by distribution companies.

 The commission also directed the companies not to disconnect such customers.

It advised such customers to report to the commission if disconnected.

NERC said that the directive was to make the companies to effectively execute metering deployment for MD customers.

However, Electricity Distribution Companies, Monday, said that the government’s directive asking consumers yet to be metered not to pay electricity bills is applicable only to Maximum Demand (MD) customers.

The Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) and Ikeja Electric made this known in a statement jointly signed by Heads of their Corporate Communications, Messrs Felix Ofulue and Godwin Idemudia.

The companies said that residential consumers were not included in the directive issued by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

They said that the clarification was necessary because of a report claiming that NERC directed all consumers yet to be metered to stop paying electricity bills.

Maximum demand customers are commercial and industrial customers, who consume high levels of electricity and contribute substantially to the revenues of distribution companies.

“We are happy to report that our maximum demand customers have been provided with meters as directed by NERC and are no longer billed by estimation.

“While we are making concerted efforts to provide meters for all our customers, we will continue to ensure the integrity of our bills and do everything within our mandate to comply with all NERC directives.

“We, therefore, urge our non-MD customers to please avail themselves of the content of the directive and be rightly guided.

“Consumers should not misinterpret it to avoid paying for electricity already consumed,’’ they said.

However, the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors, ANED had also made the clarification in an interview with newsmen in Abuja on Sunday.

The Chief Executive Officer of ANED, Azu Obiaya, told newsmen that the directive applied only to MD customers and not residential.

NERC had in June 2016 directed distribution companies to meter all MD customers by November 30, 2016.
Following the expiration of the deadline, NERC further directed that MD customer not metered by March should not pay any estimated electricity bill presented by any distribution company.

Obiaya said: “We recognise that our residential consumers will be interested in this notice, thinking that it applies to them in their need for meters, and we recognise that everyone will like to be metered, we are working toward that.

“But this time, that notice by NERC is specific for maximum demand customers.
“It is a challenge, but we are working hard to ensure that we meter all MD customers to eliminate issues associated with estimated billing that those customers have.”

 

 

Source: Vanguard

DisCos Need N100bn to Resolve Electricity Hiccups

The Association of Electricity Distribution Companies (ANED) has appealed to the Federal Government to provide the N100 billion subsidy it promised after private investors took over the power sector utilities on November 1, 2013.

ANED, in a statement by its Executive Director, Mr Sunny Oduntan also appealed to the government to inject funds into the transmission section of the sector.

It said that the inadequate funding of the TCN was responsible for the huge loss and rejection of electricity load.

According to the statement, government which holds 40 per cent equity in the utilities, had pledged to provide many interventions in the Performance Agreement between DisCos and the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).

“To date, the government has not met the privatisation transaction foundational requirements of providing N100 billion in subsidies, payment of MDA electricity obligations;

”It has not ensured that the DisCos have debt free financial books; and the implementing of a cost reflective tariff,” it said.

It said that the funding level of TCN was inadequate, given TCN’s estimate of 7.5 billion dollars for its five-year expansion plan designed to increase its capacity to wheel 10,000 megawatt (mw), from the current 4,500mw.

It said that the DisCos could only recover their costs when they have more energy delivered by TCN in the area where they have customers.

According to the statement, it is unfair for the DisCos to suffer financial losses due to the limitations associated with TCN’s wheeling of electricity.

It said TCN, a public utility, has remained underfunded over several decades.

“Such underfunding has resulted in poor transmission infrastructure and planning, with the consequences of grid instability and limited wheeling capacity, adversely impacting the distribution and generation of electricity.”

It said that the inadequate funding of TCN was impeding the DisCos’ ability to distribute power and has led to crashes in power turbines of Generation Companies (GenCos) due to TCN consistent requests for de-loading.

Fashola Tells Gencos, Discos To Perform Or Face The Consequences

Worried by the slow  progress made in the power sector, the minister for Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has charged all stakeholders in power sector to adhere strictly to all conditions in their contract with federal government or face dire consequences.

This is just as the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, at 14th  monthly meeting of Power Stakeholders Forum held yesterday at National Control Centre, NCC, Osogbo, restated its commitment to expand transmission infrastructure and improve its operation and performance within the power sector value chain. Addressing the gathering, Mr. Fashola said all investors in the power sector were aware of opportunities and challenges before entering into agreement with federal government and investing in the sector, stressing that the present administration is prepared to implement to the letters, all conditions stipulated in the contracts, signed with it by investors in the sector.

 

On government’s part, he assured investors in the sector of the commitment of the federal government towards provision of conducive environment that will enhance their businesses. Fashola, who said efforts are on to facilitate more payment of debt owed power distributors by federal government, noted that operations in power sector is largely in the hands of private operators and must be made to fulfil their mandate to Nigerians. Reading the communiqué of the meeting attended by leadership of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, and Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, representatives of  the generation companies, Gencos and distribution companies, Discos, Prof. Frank Okafor, said the meeting highlighted the issue of un-utilized load, and encouraged the industry to take necessary steps to address the problem.

 

The communiqué reads in parts: “The Managing Director, Transmission Company of Nigeria, highlighted the issue of un-utilised load, currently causing high system frequency on the national grid, and encouraged the industry to take necessary steps to address the problem. TCN restated its commitment to expand transmission infrastructure and improve its operation and performance within the power sector value chain.

 

“The Vice Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission affirmed the Federal Government’s expressed commitment to tariffs that ensure a self-sustaining power sector and to supporting NERC in applying sanctions where appropriate to ensure operators comply with the rules. “NERC highlighted the recently reconstituted commission’s focus on fair but firm regulation in the following areas: enforcing DisCo metering commitments, prepaid meters for MDAs, centralised management of market revenues collected from all customers, appropriate capitalisation of DisCos, and prudent procurement. “It urged electricity customers to play their role in the success of the industry, through the timely payment of bills, ending the vandalism of power assets, and the assault of electricity workers who seek to install or read meters.”

Source: Vanguard

Fashola Raises Hope for Better Electricity Supply

Nigeria stands to get better power supply soon. This was revealed by the minister Babatunde Raji Fashola Minister of Power, Works and Housing during an interview on the Sunday Morning Show of Arise Television. He said;

“In six days’ time, we will restore generation to 4,000MW,” promising: “By the time you have the hydro station back during the raining season, you will get more.”

Nigerians had been experiencing frequent power outages, which worsened in the last few weeks even as the weather became hotter, provoking bitter complaints from citizens.
But the minister, who also clarified that the N701 billion power intervention fund recently announced by the federal government would be spread over the next three years to give comfort to the operators, explained that the outages were due to low water levels at the nation’s hydro power stations.

Nigerian Govt. Earmarks N701bn for Electricity

The Federal Government says it is committed to providing N701 billion as guaranty to electricity to ensure market liquidity in the country’s power sector.

Alhaji Mustapha Baba-Shehuri, the Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, disclosed this on Monday in Keffi, Nasarawa State.

Baba-Shehuri spoke on “Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission in Nigeria’’ at the 58th annual conference of the Association of Nigerian Geographers (ANG).

The theme of the conference is: “Geography, Nation-Building and Environmental Change’’.

The minister identified lack of political will, policy direction in the past, current fluctuation, poor management and inadequate power supply, among others, as some of the challenges facing the power sector.

Baba-Shehuri said that the present government was committed to addressing the problem of power sector so as to improve electricity supply for the benefit of Nigerians and the overall development of the country.

“We are all aware that the importance of power supply to the socio-economic development of the country cannot be over-emphasised as the federal government is doing its best in addressing the challenges facing the sector.

“The federal government is making serious commitment in ensuring that the problem of vandalism of infrastructure is completely addressed for the overall development of the country.

“His Excellency, the Vice President was recently in the Niger Delta region as part of efforts to address the problem of gas/pipeline vandalisation as its affect the power generation in the country.

“As a result of the government efforts, we could notice sufficient and significant power improvement with power generation hovering around 4,000MW and above compared to what is obtained as 2,000MW power generation a month ago,” he said.

The Minister of Water Resources and Rural Development, Mr Suleiman Adamu, urged the association to continue to provide solutions to the nation’s environmental problems.

On his part, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Usani Usani Uguru, who presented a paper titled “Appreciating Change in the context of Globalisation: Geographic Paradigm”, said that President Muhammadu Buhari came to rescue Nigeria from decaying.

Also speaking, the Minister of State for Environment, Alhaji Ibrahim Jibrin, who presented a paper on “Environmental Issues in Nigeria: the Change Agenda’’, said that the federal government was genuinely committed to addressing environmental challenges for the benefit of the people.

Earlier, in a welcome address, the National President of the association, Prof. Kayode Oyesiku, said that one of the key goals of geography was to help citizens realise their responsibilities for the future of the plant earth.

He said that the association would continue to embark on research in order to proffer solutions to the nation’s environmental challenges.

NAN