Electricity supply drops to 847.97mw

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Electricity supply has dropped from 3,000 megawatts to 860.47 megawatts, the Daily Times has learnt.
Of the figure, about 847.97 mw is being sent out while the remaining is used to stabilize the system, according to the Presidential Task Force on Power.
The nation’s peak demand forecast is 12,800.00mw.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC has also noticed with concern the acute shortage in power supply and the attendant hardship Nigerians are passing through.
In the last couple of months, electricity supply has been generally poor on account of increase in vandalism in the run up to the April 2015 elections. But this bad supply condition has worsened in the last few days.
At present, 18 out of the 23 power plants in the country are unable to generate electricity due shortage of gas supply to the thermal plants with one of the hydro stations faced with water management issue. This has led to loss of over 2,000 megawatts in the national grid.
This situation is further compounded by the recent industrial actions embarked upon by workers in the oil and gas industry, a development which is taking toll on other sectors of the economy. Gas supplies to the thermal plants have been further constrained by the industrial actions of workers in the oil and gas industry.
The Commission had proactively engaged the gas supply companies and its licencees when two weeks ago discussion was held on how to firm up gas supply in order to increase power supply.
Unfortunately, not much progress was made through this meeting as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC and its subsidiary Nigeria Gas Company, disclosed of high incidence of vandalism in some areas that were relatively peaceful along its pipeline networks.
That meeting was told of the damaged done to Trans-Forcados pipeline in the western axis and ELPS gas pipeline in the eastern axis. NNPC had explained at the meeting that repair works are being intensified even as it expressed worry on the integrity of the pipelines on account of incessant damage it has sustained.
In essence, what has brought about this development is the increased incidence of vandalism which is beyond the control of the regulator and the industry operators. This situation is further compounded by the industrial actions declared by the oil and gas workers.
However, we have continued to engage with relevant authorities on how fast we can address shortage of gas supply to the thermal plants. We are also engaging with the industry operators on how to improve electricity supply.
The Commission regrets the hardships which Nigerians are being subjected to on account of this development as we intensify efforts to bring the situation under control in the shortest possible time.
Meanwhile, the Commission has concluded plans to place ceiling on estimated billing of electricity consumers in the country.
It maintained that the action is as a result increased complaint of consumers that they are being over-billed.
“Following barrage of complaints lately received over estimated billings, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC is considering placing a ceiling on maximum amount an electricity distribution company can charge a customer as estimated bill.”
“Already, the Commission is inviting comments and submissions from members of the public to participate at a hearing to consider maximum amount chargeable by an electricity distribution company as estimated bill,” it maintained.
The Chairman, Dr. Sam Amadi, said, “The context of this proposed regulation is the realisation that distribution companies are not doing enough to meter unmetered customers.”
“Since the takeover of the network by preferred bidders on November 1, 2013, we have not seen aggressive metering as promised by the preferred bidders. This has led to overbilling of customers, especially in the face of dwindling supply of electricity.”
He said that the excuse of lack of funds to provide meters for customers by the distribution companies was worn out as they have failed to utilise the Credited Advance Payment for Metering Initiative (CAPMI) recommended to them by the Commission.
CAPMI allows distribution companies to collect payment for meter from willing customer and refund the customer through a portion of his tariff over a period of time and with interest.
Amadi explained that the spirit behind the proposed ceiling on estimated billing is to provide the distribution companies incentive to roll out meters so that the customers will pay for what they consume as well as reduce mounting complaints over estimated billings.
He also called on increased advocacy to protect consumers against undue exploitation from power distribution companies.
‘’One of the observable gaps in the emergent electricity market in Nigeria is the absence of knowledgeable, credible and broad based advocacy for electricity consumers.”
Amadi ,aintained that information asymmetry was not in the interest of electricity market even as he recommends that geographical or occupational clusters of knowledgeable consumer advocates need to be galvanised to promote accessibility and reliability of service in the market.
— Report by Yinka Olujimi
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