Power Sector News and Other Related News Stories For Wednesday September 21st 2022
Lokoja Residents Groan Over Astronomical Electricity Bills, Plan Mass Protest Against AEDC
Some residents in Lokoja the kogi state capital comprising of youths are planning to stage a mass protest against Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) over astronomical electricity bills generously distributed to customers who live in residential areas
Investigations conducted by our correspondent revealed that for the past three months the electricity bills are been hiked on monthly basis with at least 30 percent increment For example, a face me- I face you one room apartment pays as high as #12,700 from the initial # 5, 700 that was paid five months ago with a two bedroom flat also paying #12,700 as bill each month.
To make matters worst, our investigations revealed that the AEDC has devised what some call a’ dubious means’ to get more revenue by separating customers in a building and giving them separate bill of #12,700 each which ordinarily supposed to be shared among the occupants of the building
For example our correspondent visited a compound located at No 12 J J street, behind Ava hotel Lokoja where there are some few flats of residence and discovered that in that compound alone, the residents who are mostly low income earners are made to cough out over #380,000 a month on electricity bills as one- storey building which used to pay a bill of #8,700 now pays over #50,000 a month.
Substandard Facilities: Safety Regulatory Agency Begins Nationwide Audit of Discos’ Installations
Nigeria’s power sector safety regulatory body, Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA), yesterday, commenced a nationwide audit of facilities owned by Distribution Companies (Discos) in the country.
The organisation, which is empowered to enforce technical standards and regulations in the country, stated that the development was part of efforts to identify areas of weakness at connection points between the Discos and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) with a view to ramping up supply nationwide.
The exercise, which took the organisation to the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), also marked the take-off of the activities of the taskforce on monitoring and evaluation of existing electricity network that aims to stem the use of substandard electrical materials and equipment in Nigeria.
Speaking at the AEDC headquarters in Abuja, Chief Electrical Inspector of the Federation (CEIF) and Managing Director of NEMSA, Mr Aliyu Tahir, explained that the move will help identify the challenges at the interface points between transmission and electricity distribution networks hindering smooth power supply delivery in the country.
Nigeria Targets 30 Gigawatts of Electricity by 2030
Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, has said Nigeria is committed to achieving 30 gigawatts of electricity by 2030 from multiple sources, of which, at least, 30 per cent contribution would come from renewable energy.
He disclosed this yesterday at the ninth Nigeria Energy Exhibition and Conference in Lagos.
Aliyu, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Temitope Fashedemi, added that the country was also poised to attain a net zero commission by 2060 through the recently-launched transition plan.
He said energy is conventionally one of the most important infrastructure requirements for human existence and modern living besides being one of the most important components of economic development.
According to him, energy remains essential for human existence, and socio-economic development, as access to energy, especially electricity, enhances the standard of living of the citizenry, hence it is factored in the measurement of the human development index.
New BEDC Management Approves Salary Increment for Staff
The New Management of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) says the board of the company has approved increment in the salaries for members of staff to enhance performance.
The Managing Director of the electricity firm, Dr Henry Ajagbawa, told newsmen on Tuesday in Benin that the increment ranged from five per cent to 70 per cent, depending on the various salary grade levels of staff.
Ajagbawa noted that the new salary structure would take effect from September, which would be paid at the last working day of the month.
“One of our focal point is to create an enabling environment for our staff to thrive and also provide better welfare packages to encourage productivity.
“We have seen that the workers ability to work have been limited due to lack of means of transportation as more than 50 vehicle have been grounded.
“We are going to repair them so that the worker can transport themselves and equipment around BEDC franchise areas.
Electricity Customers Hit 21.44m in Six Months
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said the number of Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) customers in Nigeria in Q1 and Q2 of 2022 stood at 10.63 million and 10.81 million.
This is according to the Nigeria Electricity Report for Q1 and Q2 2022, released by the NBS in Abuja, yesterday.
The report focuses on energy billed, revenue generated and customers by DISCOS under the reviewed period.
According to the report, the total number of customers for the period under review indicates a rise of 1.67 per cent on a quarter-on-quarter basis.
The report said on a year-on-year basis, the number of customers in Q1 2022 declined by 1.36 per cent from Q1 2021 at 10.78 million.
Similarly, the number of customers also declined in Q2 2022, by 2.27 per cent from Q2 2021 at 11.06 million.
The report said the number of metered customers stood at 4.79 million in Q1 2022 and 4.96 million in Q2 2022, indicating a 3.53 per cent increase on a quarter-on-quarter basis.
‘Consumers Spend N393bn on Electricity in Six Months’
The National Bureau of Statistics, Tuesday, said electricity consumers paid a total of N393.15bn as tariff to power distribution companies between January and June 2022.
In its just-released Nigeria Electricity Data, the bureau revealed that the power distributors made N204.74bn in the first quarter of this year, while they raked in N188.41bn in the second quarter.
Data from the report indicated that the earnings were from 10.63 million customers in Q1 2022, as the number of power users who made payments increased to 10.81 million in Q2 2022, despite the revenue drop.
The NBS stated that out of the total number of customers, only 4.79 million in Q1 2022 and 4.96 million in Q2 2022 were metered, indicating that several millions of power users were still on estimated billing method.
The report showed that most electricity customers in Nigeria, 5.84 million in Q1 2022 and 5.85 million in Q2 2022, paid their bills based on estimation.
FG Extends Talks with Electricity Workers After Strike
Negotiations between electricity workers and the federal government has pushed past two weeks initially billed to end last month’s strike, and a resolution is expected this week, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.
The two-week duration given for the task was “unavoidably extended” after the two sides realised the volume of work that needs to be completed was more than what was initially anticipated, a union leader said.
“The committee is still sitting as I speak with you, they are expecting that they should round up by the end of this week hopefully,” Godfrey Aba, chairman of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Abuja chapter, told PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday.
Members of the union went on a nationwide strike on August 17, leaving cities and towns in darkness after they shut down power stations.
The workers complained about their welfare issues that include concerns around promotion and payment of staff of the defunct state-owned Power Holdings Company Limited, PHCN.
The strike was suspended within 24 hours for a two-week period to allow for negotiations with a government committee headed by the Minister of State for Power, Jeddy Agba.
Nigeria’s Economy Needs 50,000 Megawatts to Thrive – President’s Aide
Nigeria, where businesses rely more on diesel-powered generators, needs 50,000 megawatts of power to meet its energy needs, Ahmad Zakari, the senior special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on power infrastructure, has said.
Africa’s biggest economy is plunged into darkness from time to time due to frequent national grid collapses, thus piling pressure on businesses and households who spend heavily on diesel and generators to generate their own power.
To change this narration, Zakari said there was a need to intensify Nigeria’s transition from on-grid to off-grid to meet its increasing energy needs.
“We keep talking about 5000 megawatts but we are really closer to 10 megawatts. However, we need about 50,000 megawatts for the economy to thrive,” Zakari said at the Nigeria Energy 2022 Conference, which was held Tuesday in Lagos.
According to him, infrastructural growth in Nigeria is dependent on how innovative the country is, going forward. Zakari admitted there was a significant infrastructure gap in the power sector, which has widened over time.
Nigerians Can’t Deny Improvement in Electricity Under Buhari Govt. – Adesina
Femi Adesina said the electricity supply under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has improved tremendously and Nigerians cannot deny it.
The Presidential spokesperson stated this when he was featured on Channels TV Politics Today.
Adesina noted that a contractual agreement with Siemens has seen the Federal Government bringing in transformers and power equipment to shore up the epileptic power supply affecting Nigerians in the country.
He said, “Nigerians can’t say there has been no improvement in the supply of electricity since the inception of this administration, I just told you that some transformers came into the country under the siemens deal recently. That doesn’t tantamount to saying there is no movement, there is some movement and it will translate to better power for the country.
“Nobody would deny that Nigeria has a power problem, particularly with electricity. It has been there with different administrations; they battled the issue and failed. But this administration has made progress and will still progress on power supply.
Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Says Nigeria Needs More Gas-Based Power Plants
During a panel session featuring several energy stakeholders on Nigeria’s gas-to-power masterplan in the ongoing Nigeria Energy conference, Dr Nnaemeka Ewelukwa, the managing director/chief executive officer, Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) said the country needs more gas power plants.
According to him, the Edo state-based independent power producer (IPP), Azura power plant signed a gas purchase agreement with Seplat Energy in 2014, which gave Seplat a line of revenue for over ten years. This line of revenue enabled Seplat to invest about US$300 million to expand its gas facilities. He alluded to the fact that the Seplat expansion would not have been possible without the Azura power plant.
“To build more gas-based power plants, there is a need for power purchase agreements and there is a need for full payments, otherwise, there will be a gap in the value chain,” he says.
Electricity Emerges as Key Export Item for Nepal
Nepal sold electricity worth over $56 million to India in nearly four months, as power is emerging as a key export item of the Himalayan country.
The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) said in a statement on Tuesday that it exported power valued at 7.19 billion Nepali rupees ($56.19 million) to India from early June to mid-September.
“As we can sell electricity in India till December, export earnings from power will be much higher,’’ Suresh Bhattarai, NEA’s spokesman said.
The earnings have made electricity Nepal’s seventh largest export item after soybean oil, palm oil, yarn, woollen carpet, jute and readymade garment.
In the current 2022-23 fiscal year, which began in mid-July, the NEA aimed to earn 16 billion Nepali rupees ($125 million) through electricity export.
This may help make electricity the No. 3 export item of the country.