ELECTRICITY: 42 people electrocuted in five months

It has been reported that Forty-two persons lost their lives in 38 fatal accidents caused by faulty systems in the electricity distribution arm of the power sector between January and May this year.

Ten of the recorded fatalities were employees of the different power firms, while the remaining 32 were individuals who did not work in the industry. Aside the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, the remaining 10 Discos recorded fatalities, either by losing one or more employees, or one or more power users in their various franchise areas.

The Transmission Company of Nigeria maintained a clean sheet in the five-month period, as it recorded no fatality.

Data obtained from the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency in Abuja showed that during the period, the sector also witnessed 16 accidents that resulted into injuries.

Ten employees of the power distribution firms were injured in the 16 accidents, while the number of third party injuries was put at 13.

Other non-Disco/TCN deaths witnessed in the sector were eight, as the Yola Disco had about four cases in this category, while the Jos and Abuja Discos recorded one and three cases each.

The number of bad network issues reported to the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency between January and May this year was put at 2,109, while 1,014 bad network cases were resolved by the Discos during the review period.

The agency said operators in the sector must note that NEMSA’s target was zero electrocution nationwide, adding that the Discos were encouraged to report any domestic electrocution not directly connected with their networks.

“This will not count against their ranking,” the power management agency said.
On April 16 this year, The PUNCH exclusively reported that the defective networks of power distribution companies led to the untimely death of 22 people within a space of three months.

It was reported that between January and March this year, six employees of five distribution companies and 16 other people were electrocuted as a result of one or more defective systems in the distribution arm of the industry.

Our correspondent gathered that the faulty systems many accidents in the sector during the five months period due to system protection equipment failures, total absence of protection devices in some cases, as well as vandalism.

Other causes of accidents in the sector include poor termination and maintenance of ageing networks, right of way issues, non-adherence to safety rules and regulations, poor response to monitored networks, use of substandard materials, and inadequate knowledge on the part of operators and consumers.

The electricity management agency charged the power firms to intensify efforts to revamp and calibrate their protection schemes and equipment, rectify their defective networks to prevent electrical accidents, and reduce technical losses.

NEMSA further charged the power distributors to educate their customers on the need for extreme caution when using electricity.

{LETTER TO THE EDITOR} Electricity: Bolorunduro Community Okinni Crying For Help

 

As far back as September 2017, residents of Bolorunduro, Oke Obedu and other neighbouring communities in Okinni, Egbedore Administrative Office have been living in the dark due to the irreparable fault developed by the transformer being used to supply power to the communities.

Residents of the area have contributed money for the repair of the transformer but it was later established that it was irreparable after several efforts had been made.

All efforts to get help from the IBEDC have proved abortive, as it seems that the company is not interested in addressing the problem, eventhough they will later come to collect money for the power consumed by residents.

The ongoing efforts now in the affected communities is the contribution of N5,000 per house for the purchase of another transformer, but it seems that the response has been too slow from the people due to the current economic situation hitting deep on them.

At this stage, we appeal to well meaning individuals and Government officials to help in their capacity, may be interms of donation or facilitation of a transformer to save the people of the area from darkness.

Particularly we appeal to our elected officials like Senator Ademola Adeleke representing Osun West senatorial district; Professor Mojeed Alabi of House of Representatives; the Administrator, Okinni Administrative Office and above all the state government to help.

We are convinced that it is possible for each of those mentioned to help in this regard as we have seen similar demonstrations recently when the Executive Secretary, Ede North Area Council donated a 500KVA transformer to Awere Community, Owode Ede  and Senator Adeleke donated a transformer to a community in Ido Osun.

This is the time to show love to our communities, which would be definitely reciprocated.

  • Ibrahim Babawale, Bolorunduro Zone B, Okinni.

How Juju Arrested PHCN Officials In Osogbo

By Tunde Odesola

Published In THE PUNCH Of Monday, 5th February, 2018.

I don’t know how to translate this into English, but “ohun t’aba wi f’ogbo, logbo ngbo…” is the most popular Yoruba incantation used by Ifa believers to spellbind an individual; hypnotise the enemy or arrest an awkward situation. But some Ifa adherents don’t have to chant incantations. They are incantations themselves! The Araba of Osogbo, Chief Ifayemi Elebuibon, belongs to this class of esoteric clan of Ifa votaries.

It was about midday in the heart of Osogbo. Some officials of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria were on a mass disconnection at the Ayetoro area of the city capital. Snaillike, their vehicle inched towards Ifayemi Elebuibon Street, stopping at the very pole in front of the expansive residence of the Ifa priest. Four PHCN officials alighted from the vehicle. A group of residents, whose electricity cables had been disconnected some distance up the street, had followed the vehicle on foot. The leader of the team, a dark-skinned middle-aged man, opened a conversation with the restless residents.

Two men, who appeared to be the youngest in the PHCN team, brought down a brown, long wooden ladder hinged to the top of the pickup. As they were mounting the ladder against the pole, Elebuibon came out of his compound. He greeted them and asked what their mission was. The team leader told him that they were going to disconnect the cable supplying his house with electricity unless he produced a bill showing that he was not owing the PHCN. The babalawo told them that he was not owing the PHCN and added that it was not his place to produce any bill. He said the PHCN should have a record of those who had paid up their bills just as he stressed that he had never owed electricity tariff all his life. Some residents intervened and told the officials that the Araba never owed electricity bills.

Shunning all entreaties, one of the PHCN officials rebuffed the pleas and started to climb the long ladder. Residents yelled and told him not to climb the ladder, but he refused, climbing and grumbling. Elebuibon raised his hand, saying ‘e je o gun, to bati le bo’le’; meaning: let him climb the ladder if he would be able to climb down from it. One! Two! Three! Four!…the brave official climbed the ladder to the top. Suddenly, he stopped grumbling, became utterly silent, distant and hazy.

He couldn’t disconnect the cable, neither could he come down. Looking as cool as cucumber, he chewed a gum slowly, absent-mindedly and remained at the top of the ladder, blinking and oblivious of the flood of pleas gushing on his behalf down below.

The other three PHCN officials at the foot of the ladder sweated and begged. Together with residents, they pleaded with Baba Elebuibon to set the young man free. Elebuibon yielded. ‘Arakunrin, ma bo nle (young man, come down),’ he simply said, snapping the detainee out of his forced reverie. The Ifa priest later told one of his children to go inside his house and bring the bill showing he had paid his electricity tariff. Elebuibon was able to resist the highhandedness earmarked for him by the PHCN, but do millions of Nigerians, whose businesses and well-being are tied to electricity supply, have the arcane power to such do?

The commonest testimony that governmental injustice and corruption freely and daily stalk our land unchallenged is the PHCN. Injustice and corruption aided, abetted and perpetrated by the government against the people. Or what better adjectives are there to qualify a government parastatal that collects citizens’ hard-earned money and yet refuses to provide the commodity for which they paid? Worse still, those that pay brazenly have their power supply cut if they were not around to show the almighty PHCN officials their bills.

The inability of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to bring just one ‘oga’ to book despite the trillions of naira that have gone down the PHCN drain since 1999 shows the corrupt nature of the country’s anti-corruption fight. Nigerians watch hopelessly as yesterday’s corrupt politicians have had their iniquities washed with hyssop and a detergent called defection while the EFCC bays at the midnight moon. The crazy bill phenomenon by the PHCN is the crowning of the nation’s abhorrent corruption behemoth. How a government could watch and support the fleecing of her citizens year in and year out without a twinge of compunction beats the imagination. And all the agencies, state and national parliaments statutorily constituted to check underhand practices in the various segments of the economy look the other way as the python of corruption and insensitivity encircles the citizenry. A Nigerian-American living in Huntsville, Alabama, Olusegun-Richard Adeyina, said he has witnessed uninterrupted power supply since relocating to the US 16 years ago.

A report by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project said at least N11tn meant for the provision of adequate electricity for Nigerians was squandered under ex-Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan. The report also warned that the ‘financial loss to Nigeria from corruption in the electricity sector’ may reach N20tn in the next 10 years.

The report, which was presented to the media by an Associate Professor of Energy and Electricity Law, University of Lagos, Yemi Oke, some months ago, said, “The much publicised power sector reforms in Nigeria under the Electric Power Sector Reform Act of 2005 is yet to yield desired and/or anticipated fruits largely due to corruption and impunity of perpetrators, regulatory lapses and policy inconsistencies. Ordinary Nigerians continue to pay the price for corruption in the electricity sector – staying in the dark, but still made to pay crazy electricity bills. The Obasanjo administration spent $10bn on NIPP with no results in terms of increase in power generation. $13.278,937,409.94 was expended in eight years while unfunded commitments amounted to $12bn. The Federal Government then budgeted a whopping N16bn for the various reforms between 2003 and 2007, which went down the drain.”

Oke said that the country had lost more megawatts in the post-privatisation era due to corruption and impunity, among other social challenges reflected in the report.

Largely owing to insatiable greed and cronyism, the privatisation of the power sector carried out in November 2013 has worsened the electricity misery of Nigerians, instead of alleviating it. The excuse of liquidity challenge and damage to gas pipelines by the distribution and generation companies are a reflection of corruption and operational inefficiency. It is only in Nigeria that power firms could ask for the fulfilment of N100bn subsidy fund after the National Electricity Power Authority assets were sold off ten a penny. Despite collecting monthly tariffs from Nigerians for electricity they never supplied, it is insensitive that these firms are yet clamouring for consumers to pay cost-reflective tariffs – to reflect the devaluation of the naira and rise in inflation. My take; if due process was followed to the letter during the privatisation exercise, the country won’t arrive at this rack and ruin.

I don’t give a hoot about the good-for-nothing improved-power statistics being bandied about the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola. But I give a fig about the huge number of Nigerians whose lives have been snuffed out by generator fumes, despite paying through their noses crazy electricity tariffs by the most inefficient power company on the planet. I worry stiff about the millions of Nigerians – long dead and buried – on whom mosquitoes sneaked in when they opened their windows and doors to keep alive from PHCN-induced suffocating heat.

Does the way Nigeria treats adequate power supply, which remains the greatest change factor in this industrialised century, not suggest that we are truly a “wasted generation”?

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.