The pace of electricity infrastructure development in the county is very slow and power supply remains highly inadequate.
In 2013, two segments of Nigeria’s power sector (generation and distribution) were privatized to resolve the challenges associated with the prior monopoly of government in power generation, transmission and distribution. However, the privatization only changed the dimensions of the challenges and power supply remains largely inadequate, unaffordable and unreliable in the country.
Presently, study shows that over 40% of the Nigerian population are not connected to the national power grid, and for those connected, power supply is a serious problem as about approximately 90% of total power demanded is not supplied.
At the moment, total installed generation capacity is 12,522 MW, but average operational generation capacity is just 3,879MW of which about 7% is lost in transmission, and over 27% load is rejected at distribution. As a result, Nigerians self-generate a significant portion of their electricity with highly polluting off-grid alternatives and at a cost that is more than twice the cost of grid-based power.
Moreover, in the coming years, electricity demand in Nigeria is expected to rise significantly at rates more than twice global averages.
Some of the key challenges in the Distribution network include:
1.Technical and financial inadequacy by the new owners of the Discos.
2. Inadequate and poorly maintained distribution networks worsened by vandalism.
3. Insufficent end-user tariff and inability to reduce Aggregate Technical, Commercial and Collection (ATC&C) losses by the Discos.
4. Discos are unable to remit back cash on energy distributed.
5. Inability of the Discos to obtain loans from banks due to mainly unpaid debts and corporate governance related issues.
6. Energy theft and non payment culture of the public and MDAs.
The HMoP and his team ask the question “How can the Nigerian people and industries be globally competitive without access to efficient, affordable and reliable power?”
Answer to this question led the Hon Minister and his team to initiate a Distribution Sub-sector Recovery Programme (DSRP).
This is another laudable programme by the HMoP as a quick win to address the aforementioned problems and stimulate additional inflow of investment in the distribution sub sector.
The steps taken as part of the DSRP include :
1. Meeting with the world Bank team to consider their resolve in assisting Nigeria with $1Billion to fund infrastructure in the distribution network.
2. To stop crazy billing for un-mettered , HMoP relayed and gave Discos through NERC, notices of intention to commence enforcement action over their failure to comply with order 197/2020 on metering, and the most affected Discos are seven, thus, Kano, Kaduna, Benin, Enugu, Eko,Ikeja and Port Harcourt.
Therefore, People in the area of the affected Discos should know that the HMoP, his team and the ministry is fully aware of the kind of relationship they have with the Discos
The affected Discos have 14 days ultimatum beginning from June 4, 2020 to explain why they should not be sanction for non compliance.
Other aspects of DSRP shall be unbundle as event unfolds.
Nigerians now attest that there is remarkable improvement in steady power supply compared to the past.
Engr Sale Mamman, the Hon Minister of Power (HMoP) is indeed working and is on top of his responsibilities.
Distribution network most be revived and recovered
May God help us.
Isa Ado Maidoya