Power Sector And Other Related News Stories For Friday December 9th 2022
Don’t Buy Meter, Transformer, Wires, NERC Tells Electricity Consumers
Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), yesterday, in Abuja, said it remains the responsibility of electricity distribution companies to provide meters, transformers, poles, wires and other things needed for electricity supply to consumers.
Across the country, consumers, including some state governments, provide transformers, poles, wires, and also fund repair of electricity equipment before enjoying electricity supply.
NERC’s Commissioner-in-charge of Consumers Affairs, Aisha Mahmud, speaking during a three-day NERC/Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) Customer Complaint Resolution Meeting, said a lot of consumers in Nigeria are not aware of their right.
“It is not the responsibility of the consumers to buy meters, poles or any assets for the DisCos (distribution companies) because we have already provided for that in the tariff of the utilities.
“But under any circumstances that you have to purchase these items and you cannot wait for the DisCos to make that investment, we have made provision for that under our ‘investment regulation’,” Mahmud said.
She noted that the commission will continue to educate consumers on their responsibilities and obligations, adding that there’s a regulation, and based on that, if a consumer has to purchase a transformer, it has to be done through an agreement.
States Shun National Council on Power Meeting
Federal Government yesterday expressed concern over the low turnout of state governments for the 5th National Council on Power, NACOP, holding in Abuja, despite the huge challenges facing electricity supply in the country.
NACOP is made up of Federal Government officials, led by the Minister of Power, and commissioners of power in the states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
But the fourth day of the week-long meeting which was attended by the Minister of Power, Engr. Abubarkar D. Aliyu and the Minister of State Power, Goddy Jeddy-Agba was marred by the conspicuous absence of representatives from the states.
At the end of the morning session which had a keynote address by the Minister, only 15 states and the FCT were represented.
This prompted the Minister to enquire about the possible reason for their absence. He expressed worry that the issues affecting the sector were not being given the attention they deserve.
Nigeria, a country of over 200 million people, produces less than 5,000 Megawatts of electricity with the World Bank reporting that one in every ten persons in the world without access to electricity resides in the country.
Council Chairman Seeks Protection of Electricity Installations
Chairman of Emohua local government area of Rivers State, Dr. Chidi Julius Lloyd, has called for partnership between the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) and security agencies to safeguard electricity installations in rural communities in the state.
He said the partnership, which will also include local vigilante groups and community stakeholders, will checkmate the activities of vandals and criminals who destroy the PHED properties and keep the electricity users in darkness.
Lloyd spoke yesterday at Emohua, the council headquarters, while signing a memorandum of understanding with the PHED, to have power restored to communities across the local government area through a collaborative effort between the council and the electricity company.
Communities in Emohua local government area have been out of power supply for over a period of time, due to the vandalization of hight tension line feeding the local government area from the Ahoada transmission station.
The council boss expressed optimism that a well coordinated surveillance will put an end to the incessant vandalization of electricity installations not only in the local government area, but across Nigeria.
Forex Crisis Is Threatening to Crumble Nigeria’s Electricity Sector
When Nigeria’s power sector was privatized in November 2013, the reality was different for the investors who paid $2.5 billion for the control of 11 power distribution companies and 6 power generating plants. The exchange rate at the time was $1 to N158.29, with the highest rate for that month at N158.99.
Nine years after and depending on where they buy, the exchange rate between the naira and the United States dollar is N440/$1 on the official market and N735/$1 on the black market. No one expected things to have deteriorated this much barely a decade after the investors tapped local banks for the loans used to pay for the assets.
Whilst the sector grumbles over issues such as a cost-reflective tariff, estimated billing and remittances, depreciation of the naira and access to forex appears to be the most existential threat facing the industry on all fronts.
Players in the sector are grappling with repaying foreign currency loans borrowed when the exchange rate was more than three times its current value. According to sources with knowledge of the issues, some investors are tethering on the edges of default as they struggle to find forex to repay loans from an investment that has been a colossal loss.
They also face the daunting task of funding CAPEX hugely required to improve the state of power supply in the country mostly in dollars.
Enabling Environment Critical to Achieving Electricity Vision 30:30:30 – Federal Govt
The federal government has stated that the creation of an enabling environment is a critical component in the realisation of the Electricity Vision (EV) 30:30:30.
EV 30:30:30 aims at achieving 30,000MW of electricity by the year 2030 with renewable energy contributing 30 per cent of the energy mix.
The minister of Power Engr. Abubakar Aliyu stated this yesterday while declaring open the third edition of the civil society roundtable discussion with stakeholders in the power sector, organised by Civil Society Groups for Good Governance (CSGGG) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Power, with the theme, ‘Boosting Nigeria’s Power Sector Performance for Overall Socio-Economic Development of the Nation’.
Aliyu said given Nigeria’s enormous energy resources, its huge human capital, and population demography, it is obvious that creating an enabling environment is a critical component in the realisation of the Electricity Vision (EV) 30:30:30.
The minister who was represented by the director, Reform Coordination and Service Improvement Department at the ministry, Mrs Titilayo A. Agbeyo, said the Ministry would focus more on creating the right enabling environment for private investment.
Lagos Govt to Enact Law to Regulate Electricity Market
Olalere Odusote, the Lagos government’s commissioner for energy, claims that a law regulating the electricity market would be passed.
At the conclusion of the third Lagos Real Estate Market Place Conference and Exhibition on Wednesday, Mr. Odusote made this statement.
He explained that this became essential since few private individuals and businesses in Lagos used electricity from the national grid, preferring to use diesel generators.
He asserts that the two Lagos distribution firms, Eko Disco and Ikeja Electric, which were founded nine years ago, initially sold between 800 and 900 megawatts and only increased to between 800 and 1,000 megawatts nine years later.
“Nothing has changed in the national grid sector nine years after. However, Lagos state, within a spate of nine years, had grown from having about 8,000 megawatts of installed diesel capacity to about 23,000 megawatts,” stated the commissioner.
Electric Ireland Announces 24% Increase in Residential Electricity Bills
The third largest electricity supplier in Northern Ireland, Electric Ireland, has announced a 24% increase in its residential electricity bills from January.
This will add about £504 on to the typical household annual bill.
Electric Ireland has about 90,000 residential customers in NI.
NI’s largest electricity supplier, Power NI, has said its customers will not see any further price rises in their electricity bills this winter.
The firm supplies electricity to about 473,000 domestic customers.
After a Utility Regulator review, Power NI is cutting prices by 14% from January.
However, customers will not see a decrease in their bills due to reduced levels of government support.
Bill Coyle, Head of Residential Northern Ireland at Electric Ireland, said: “Increases in our wholesale electricity costs, driven by substantial rises in international wholesale energy prices as a result of the ongoing energy crisis, have necessitated an increase to our residential tariff from 1 January next year.”
He added: “While we know this news is disappointing, we have written to our customers and advised them this increase is necessary and assured them we have tried to keep prices as low as possible.”
The Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) is the government scheme currently discounting electricity and gas bills, but that level of support in Northern Ireland is decreasing from January because of a fall in wholesale costs.