NERC: We Have Not Approved New Electricity Tariff 

A file photo of a powerline.
A file photo of a powerline.

 

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) says the agency has not approved a hike in electricity tariff. 

NERC Chairman Garba Sanusi said this while speaking to journalists in Abuja on Friday.  According to him, reports suggesting a hike in electricity tariff are untrue.  He said there was no new rise in the electricity tariff as the reports suggested.

“I want to, on behalf of the management of NERC, clearly state that as of today (Friday), we have not approved any rate review and there is no indication that any electricity distribution company is increasing its tariff,” he said.

“If you notice that the rate you buy electricity has changed within the last one to three weeks, we want evidence.”

He explained the information on the NERC website indicated that the last tariff review was in December 2021.

“Our function is to approve applications for tariffs for the distribution companies, and we have not received any,” the NERC boss added.

His comment followed the agency’s publication of a review (on Thursday) of tariffs for six distribution companies with effect from December 2021.

Vandalism On Transmission Tower Led To National Grid Collapse – FG

A file photo of a powerline.

 

The Ministry of Power said on Saturday the latest collapse of the national grid was due to vandalism on a transmission tower.

The grid collapsed on Friday for the third time in as many weeks, plunging parts of the country into darkness.

The Ministry earlier on Saturday said it was investigating the cause.

READ ALSO: Blackout Hits Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Others As National Grid Collapses Again

“Further to our earlier press release, we wish to apprise the general public that the immediate cause of national blackout (system collapse) was an act of vandalism on a transmission tower on the Odukpani Ikot Ekpene 330kV double circuit transmission line thus resulting in a sudden loss of about 400MW of generation,” the Ministry’s statement said.

“This consequently led to a cascade of plant shut down across the country.

“We wish to notify the public that power on the grid is being restored sequentially by the System Operator as other on-grid power plants are being dispatched to cover the lost generation capacity from the Calabar power plant owned by the Niger Power Holding Company Ltd.”

FG Says It Is Investigating Failure Of National Grid

A file photo of a powerline.
A file photo of a powerline.

 

The Ministry of Power on Saturday said it is investigating the collapse of the national grid.

The grid collapsed on Friday for the third time in as many weeks, plunging parts of the country into darkness.

In a statement, the Ministry said the process of restoration has already commenced.

“We wish to notify the general public of the incidence of a system collapse which occurred at 1830hrs on April 8th, 2022 resulting in power outages in many parts of the country,” the statement said.

READ ALSO: NERC Confirms Removal Of Electricity Subsidy

“While a detailed investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the recurring grid failure is currently ongoing by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission and System Operator (the operator of the national grid), the process of restoring supply is ongoing with some sections of the national grid already energised and supply restored to consumers.

“We wish to assure Nigerians that the Federal Government is working assiduously to deliver on the much-needed reforms and investments, including SCADA, that are critical to improving the capacity and reliability of the national grid. This is in line with the Mr. President’s directives on closing infrastructure deficits in critical sectors of the Nigerian economy.”

FG Lists Steps Taken To Restore ‘Normal Supply Of Electricity’ Nationwide

A file photo of a powerline.
A file photo of a powerline.

 

The Federal Government on Saturday said it has taken several steps “towards the restoration of normal supply of electricity nationwide.”

The national grid suffered shutdowns at least twice in the past week leading to blackouts across the country amid rising prices of fuel products.

In a statement signed by Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, the government said it had made some progress to address the recent challenges.

READ ALSO: NERC Confirms Removal Of Electricity Subsidy

“The Nigerian public may please recall that the national grid lost 1,110 MW generation capacity as a consequence of simultaneous disruptions in gas supply to the Okpai, Calabar and the Afam VI power plants,” the statement said.

“The available generation capacity was exacerbated by the ongoing water management regime at the Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro power plants.”

According to the Minister, the steps taken to address the situation include the following:

a. The gas pipeline affected by acts of vandalism has been restored and the Okpai power plant has resumed power generation and currently contributing an average of 300MW.

b. The Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc has been directed to enter into fast-track negotiation with NAOC on an interim energy sales agreement with a view to bringing the new Okpai II power plant on the grid, thereby contributing additional 400MW of generation capacity.

c. The “pigging” of the gas pipeline supplying gas to the Odukpani power plant is scheduled for completion on March 21st, 2022, thus ramping up generation by about 400MW.

d. In order to optimise the capacity utilisation of the power plants owned by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Ltd (NDPHC), the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has approved a special gas pricing for emergency contracting of gas from the Nigerian Gas Marketing Company Ltd. We expect an ongrid improvement of about 800MW generation capacity from the NDPHC plants.

e. In the medium-term, we have agreed with NGPIC (a subsidiary of NNPC) on the framework for the overhaul of the Okoloma gas processing plant thereby restoring the full capacity of the 650MW Afam VI combined cycle power plant.

f. While the recent spate of system collapse is regrettable, it was a direct consequence of a snap on 330KV transmission line. The mitigation measures for avoiding such incidence of blackouts are being impemented through several interventions including the Presidential Power Initiative.

NERC Confirms Removal Of Electricity Subsidy

A file photo of a transformer. Inset: NERC logo.

 

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has confirmed the removal of electricity subsidies by the Federal Government.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja, the Chairman of the Commission, Mr Sanusi Garba, said the review was conducted in line with multi-year tariff order that mandates that electricity tariff be reviewed every six months.

NERC’s confirmation comes as the nation continues to confront an energy crisis amid petrol queues, rising diesel costs and national grid collapses.

READ ALSO: We Have Recovered The National Grid – Power Minister

Mr Garba said it is the duty of electricity distribution companies to inform their customers of tariff review outcomes and cost of power.

He blamed the poor state of electricity supply and grid collapses on vandalism of gas pipelines to power plants, plants maintenance and a trip on the 330KV line from Ughelli power plant.

Blackouts: We Have Recovered The National Grid – Power Minister

A file photo of a powerline.

 

The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, has said that the national grid, which collapsed a few days ago, has now been recovered.

He disclosed this on Wednesday during a briefing after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

Mr Aliyu said several resolutions have emerged from a series of emergency meetings held by the power ministry, where all stakeholders have extensively discussed the issues and resolved all bickering.

READ ALSOBlackout In Lagos, Abuja, Enugu, Others As National Grid Collapses

The minister, who likened Nigeria’s power challenge to a war situation, further maintained that the country generates up to 8,000 MW.

According to Aliyu, the shortage of gas and maintenance of generators, the fuel situation (which he argued has been addressed by the NNPC), all combined to exacerbate the problem with the national grid.

The power minister equally affirmed that the Federal Executive Council has given approval of N5 billion to open up and expand Lagos/Ogun, to reinforce power supply to that region.

FG Blames Poor Power Supply On Low Water Level At Hydro Plants

 

The Federal Government has blamed the erratic power supply in Abuja and some parts of the country on a reduction in hydro capacity owing to the dry season.

The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, said this during the weekly ministerial briefing on Thursday.

He explained that overload on the nation’s power plants, maintenance work in the eastern region of the country, and challenges in the Okoloma Gas Station have inhibited the units from reaching optimum supply.

According to him, the government under the Siemens Presidential Power Initiatives is working to ensure an optimum supply of gas to facilitate the speedy restoration of power soon.

READ ALSO: AGF Confirms Commencement Of Process For Kyari’s Extradition

The minister also said the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) delivers about 8,000 megawatts daily and an installed capacity of 18,000 megawatts. This is as he vowed to deal with distribution companies (DISCOS) involved in metre racketeering, insisting that the procurement of metres is free.

Aliyu equally explained that the government is expediting action on the installation of ten power transformers with ten more mobile substations for massive improvement of electricity supply nationwide.

He assured Nigerians that they will see a drastic improvement in power delivery across the country.

I Am Not Happy With The State Of Power In Nigeria – Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his displeasure with the state of electricity in Nigeria.

Nigeria currently has the capacity to produce 13,000 megawatts of electricity but currently, Africa’s most populous nation produces just 4,000 megawatts on the national grid.

The President had in May 2018 queried the spending of $16bn on power projects during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

But speaking during an exclusive interview on Channels Television on Wednesday, the President reiterated his administration in providing infrastructure for Nigerians, including improving electricity.

READ ALSO: I Will Sign Electoral Bill If NASS Includes Consensus Candidates, Indirect Primaries – Buhari

When asked if he is happy with the nation’s capacity of electricity production, the President replied in the negative.

A file photo of a powerline.
A file photo of a powerline.

 

“I am not because I identify that no country can develop without infrastructure and infrastructure means road, rail and power,” Buhari said.

“This government is working very hard on the road. Try to imagine what was happening between Lagos to Ibadan six months ago and what it is now.

“We are doing from Lagos to Kano the rail, road from here to Kaduna to Kano. So we have to get the infrastructure right and then Nigerians will mind their own business. But when the infrastructure is not there, the roads are not there, the rail is virtually killed, no power, what do we expect people to do?”

The President also shed more light on why the electricity supply is yet to be stable in the country.

While noting that the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) is 100% government-owned, he noted that his government inherited the Distribution Companies (DisCos).

According to the President, the owners of Discos bought them based on geo-political zones rather than merit.

He added, “The people that own them, who are they? They are not electrical engineers, they don’t have money, it is just a political favour.

“To remove a system and reintroduce one is no joke.  Luckily we have the TCN and that is the transmission. If we can get our technology right, we will cut the cost on transmission and the likelihood of sabotaging the lines and so on.”

FG Reassures Nigerians Of Plan To Generate 25,000 Megawatts Of Electricity

A file photo of a powerline.
A file photo of a powerline.

 

The Federal Government has assured Nigerians of its readiness to generate 25,000 megawatts of electricity in the country as part of efforts to enhance power-related businesses and other economic activities in the country.

The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu disclosed this in Katsina State at the weekend when he inspected a lot of power transmission substation projects including the ongoing windmill project located at Lambar Rimi in Charanchi Local Government Area of the State.

Aliyu who was accompanied by the Acting Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Sule Abdulaziz, explained that a number of procurements have been made by the ministry under the Presidential power Initiative to restore electricity and enhance power-related businesses across the country.

READ ALSO: FG: Nigerians Suffering Epileptic Power Owing To Years Of Neglect

The windmill project contract which was awarded in June 2009 was designed to generate 10 megawatts of electricity for Katsina State and was expected to be completed within 24 months.

Channels Television, however, gathered that the initial contractor moved to the site in 2010 after which the project engineer was kidnapped at the peak of the work in 2012 which signified the beginning of the delay in completing the project on time.

Out of the 37 wind turbines installed for the takeoff of the project, 31 have successfully been working with the remaining six of them vandalized which the ministry is working to fix ahead of the commissioning of the project.

Each of the turbines has the capacity to generate 275 kilowatts.

In the meantime, the newly appointed Minister of Power inspected three power transmission substation projects meant not only to serve as booster stations to the windmill project but also to boost electricity supply across the state.

They include 330 KV substation located at Fatima Shema Estate which is coming from Kano, construction of 33/11 KV Liyafa substation at Katsina- Kano Road as well as the 133/33 KV Kankia Transmission Substation.

FG: Nigerians Suffering Epileptic Power Owing To Years Of Neglect

A file photo of a powerline.
A file photo of a powerline.

 

The Federal government has pointed at past neglect of the power sector as the major cause of slow development of the power sector and consequently epileptic power supply.

The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu who presented 16 memos at the Federal Executive Council meeting chaired by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo today, disclosed the present administration has done more than was tenable in previous administrations to bridge the power deficits for improved electricity supply.

In affirming the current power generation pegged at 5,000 MW, he described the nation’s transmission grid as weak and unable to evacuate and distribute sufficient electricity, which according to him will constitute a major problem ahead.

READ ALSO: Buhari Visits Borno As Multiple Explosions Rock Maiduguri

The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, gave a press briefing at the State House in Abuja on December 23, 2021.
The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, gave a press briefing at the State House in Abuja on December 23, 2021.

 

He however noted that the Federal Government has placed order for new power equipment and assures that Nigerians in no time will see the outcome of the ongoing investments.

Reacting to calls by the National Union of Electricity Employees, demanding a total reversal of the privatization exercise, the Power Minister notes that there are more questions surrounding the initial engagement that requires further investigation, primarily to unravel possible breaches, in order to make an informed decision.

He further maintained that while there are calls for a reversal, there are also calls for full privatization of the sector, a situation that equally demands the Federal Government go back to the drawing board.

Zungeru, Kashimbila Hydro-Power Projects To Be Ready By December – Power Minister

A file photo of a power installation.

 

The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, says the Zungeru and Kashimbila Hydro Power projects would be ready by December this year.

Mr Aliyu disclosed this when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Power, to defend his ministry’s 2022 budget proposal.

He says the 40 megawatts Kashimbila power project would start operation in December as the Federal Government has paid the ten billion naira owed contractors.

READ ALSO: Nigerians Will Soon Begin To Experience Turnaround In Power Sector: Minister

Mr Aliyu however warns that the security challenges in Niger State could prevent the inauguration of the multi-billion naira project when completed in December.

He further notes that the workers who would operate the power project can only relocate to the site and live there if their security is guaranteed.

On the Mambilla power project, the Minister explains that the project has been stalled because of legal issues which the Minister of Justice is currently handling.

Nigerians Will Soon Begin To Experience Turnaround In Power Sector: Minister

President Muhamamdu Buhari met with the Minister of Power Mr Abubakar Aliyu at the State House on September 7, 2021. Bayo Omoboriowo/State House
President Muhamamdu Buhari met with the Minister of Power Mr Abubakar Aliyu at the State House on September 7, 2021. Bayo Omoboriowo/State House

 

The Minister of Power, Engineer Abubakar Aliyu, believes Nigerians will soon begin to experience a turnaround in the power sector.

In a statement commemorating his 50th day in office, Aliyu said the Federal Government is aware of the challenges facing the sector and is working to resolve them.

He noted that the government is focusing on improving liquidity in the sector, improving services in terms of hours of supply, billing transparency and accuracy, and wider access to electricity.

READ ALSO: Lack Of Electricity Killing Nigerian Industries – Adesina

The Minister added that the government is working to explore opportunities that will, in the short term, deliver the much-desired quick wins while still focusing on the long-term objectives of increasing the available power.

Part of government’s efforts, he said, is the review of the operational licences of electricity generation and distribution companies following poor service delivery in the sector.

“Hopefully, we will soon begin to experience the imminent turn around in the power sector,” the Minister said.

“We are determined to deal with some policy issues, the legal and regulatory bottlenecks, and the human factors involved in the implementation and coordination of the power sector’s road map.

“Though clearly a work in progress, let me assure you that the viability of the sector is not in doubt. As much as it is a capital-intensive sector and currently in need of massive injection of fresh capital, we are making steady progress.”

Read the Minister’s full statement below:

 

THE FIRST 50 DAYS : OUR REFORM AGENDA FOR THE POWER SECTOR – BEING A STATUS UPDATE REPORT BY THE HONOURABLE MINISTER OF POWER, ENGR. ABUBAKAR D. ALIYU, FNSE ON WEDNESDAY, 27TH OCTOBER, 2021

It is with great delight that my Team and I engage with you today through this Statement. We hope to do this very frequently to bring Nigerians up to speed on the developments within the Ministry and the Power Sector as a whole.

Since I assumed office in this Ministry, 50 days ago, a lot has transpired in that short period. This reinforces my inaugural assertion and conviction that you do not need to be a magician to perform.

I do believe that a determined and motivated team will always find a way to mobilize resources and deliver on its assignment. We have put in place goal delivery machinery which is operational.

With this in place, many of our lingering challenges in the power Sector are now being addressed in a Methodical, systematic, and Proactive manner.

We are working tirelessly as we explore opportunities that will, in the short term, deliver the much-desired quick wins whilst still focusing on the long-term objectives of increasing the available Power, improving the quality of services, attracting the much-needed investment, promoting efficiency, competition and growth and lastly ensuring transparency and accountability in the value-chain of the Power Sector.

The Ministry is intensifying performance monitoring of the licensees and the licensing regime, especially their revised Performance Improvement Plans (PIP) to have a better understanding of why some critical stakeholders are performing below expectation.

We shall be taking a careful and detailed look at issues of policy, capacity and the technical requirement, amongst other things.

One very critical concern that we must address in this performance monitoring process is to find out if the terms for granting of licenses were onerous.

Do we need additional laws and or regulations to enable the sector to perform optimally? These are some of the critical concerns that the performance monitoring will highlight.

The outcomes will also hopefully point at ways to address these concerns and challenges.

It is well known the primary policy aim of this administration is to provide stable, good quality, reliable and affordable electricity for the people of Nigeria for domestic and industrial usage.

The Electric Power Sector Reform Act of March 2005 is quite revolutionary.

We are working on its full implementation to match up with the huge sums invested by this administration to realize our objectives in the Sector, which are very much achievable.

Against the backdrop of the reality that the delivery of electric power is a multi-sectoral undertaking, specific areas of conflict and tensions within the power industry value chain are being harmonized for greater synergy which will bring about a wholesome alignment of responsibilities within the governance system of the power sector.

It is this new mindset of cooperation for optimal performance that we are bringing on board.

So far, I am happy to inform you that everyone is in alignment with this mentality. There are ongoing conversations within the power value chain.

Stakeholders are talking and cooperating with one another and in so doing, bridging the observed disconnect within the sector.

It must be clearly stated that within this value chain, some responsibilities are by virtue of the EPSRA performed by our private sector partners and other agencies of Government. These partners are being more closely monitored and sometimes given the needed nudge in the right direction in order to achieve our objectives.

Hopefully, we will soon begin to experience the imminent turn around in the power sector.

We are determined to deal with some policy issues, the legal and regulatory bottlenecks, and the human factors involved in the implementation and coordination of the power sector’s road map. Though clearly a work in progress, let me assure you that the viability of the sector is not in doubt. As much as it is a capital-intensive sector and currently in need of massive injection of fresh capital, we are making steady progress.

CHALLENGES IN THE POWER SECTOR

We are aware that the Nigerian Power sector is confronted by many challenges which have not enabled the sector to grow as desired.

These challenges are reflected in the two over-arching problems of the Sector:

1. Service Quality: Too many people are still not satisfied with the quality of service in terms of hours of supply, voltage,Disputed/estimated bills, or have no access to electricity

2. Sector illiquidity. The payments the DisCos are able to collect from consumers does not cover the full investment and costs of the GenCos who produce and sell the power, and Transmission Company of Nigeria which wheels the power to the DisCos. Federal Government financial support is required to cover the shortfall. The resulting huge burden on Government is unsustainable.

OUR FOCUS

My immediate focus is how to achieve the following through effective policy and regulation and cooperative engagement with private and public sector operators:

1. Create liquidity in the electricity market;

2. Improve services in terms of hours of supply, billing transparency and accuracy, and wider access to electricity;

3. Bring consumer, operator and investor confidence back to the sector to attract foreign and local investment into the sector;

4. Create jobs;

5. Promote competition and bring in more participants in the Nigerian Electricity Market (NEM).

The key policies and initiatives of the Ministry to achieve these aims are:

1. Accelerate progress and completion of key projects of the Ministry and its partners, especially:

a. Kashimbilla 40MW power station has already started generating power into the National Grid.

b. Gurara phase 2 being developed in partnership with Ministry of Water Resources will soon be ready to deliver 30MW to the grid.

c. Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Project is progressing towards completion next year to deliver another 700MW of renewable power.

d. Katsina Wind farm is with a full capacity of 10MW is already generating part of its full capacity on the grid.

e. Dadin Kowa 40MW power station started generating power into the National Grid under a concession with the private investor. The remaining regulatory and power purchase agreement issues are being resolved.

f. Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Project was contracted in 2017. Discussions are being intensified so that all encumbrances preventing full take off of the project are resolved soon.

g. TCN’s Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Program funded by various multilateral financial institutions to ensure adequacy and stability of the National Grid.

2. Systematic implementation of the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI) of this administration. Siemens Nigeria and the Federal Government in 2020 entered into a Power Infrastructure revamp agreement. It is a government-to-government agreement. The Nigerian Electrification Roadmap (NER) is a partnership that will expand Nigeria’s electricity capacity from the current average output 4,500MWh/h to 25,000MW. We are confident that the NER will succeed because of the pedigree of Siemens and their footprint in the Global Power Industry. The first phase of the PPI is the upgrading and expansion of the vital infrastructure of the TCN and Discos with the end goal of achieving 7,000MW. This first phase started in earnest this year, with the ongoing pre-engineering phase. The selected EPC Contractors will soon be contracted officially so work on the project implementation can commence.

3. Reinvigorating important policies and regulations, especially:

a. The Eligible Customer and related regulations that move the electricity industry from the present interim commercial structure to full commercial structure in compliance with Clauses 25 and 26 of the Act, whereby consumers contract for better services directly with willing GenCos and service providers that are ready to make new investment to deliver better services;

b. Meter Asset Provider program to attract investors into metering;

c. Mini-grid policy and regulation that allows underserved consumers to partner with investors and contractors to get better services. The Ministry of Works and Housing, for example, has started a pilot of 1.5MW of Solar.

4. Optimizing the available generation capacity and putting them to good use. This means that we shall ensure that the unutilized capacity is used in line with the Ministry’s incremental power focus and the Eligible Customer policy;

5. Strengthening the regulator to ensure that all sector players and stakeholders work according to the rules and guidelines especially in dealing with customers.

CONCLUSION

Reforms take time and require patience to implement, especially in a highly regulated sector like the power sector. I am confident that these reforms, when fully implemented, will bring about the transformational change that we all desire to see in the sector. We are very mindful of the various challenges and bottlenecks.

I plan to face the challenges with a dogged determination and resolve. It is my belief that with the right focus, determination and teamwork, the power sector will experience a new lease of life. This further serves to assure you that Nigeria is finally navigating towards resolving some of the seemingly intractable challenges of electricity and power supply in our country.

We are at the threshold of a new era of greater liberalization in the power sector as we gradually achieve results based on all the plans for quick wins and for long term growth of the Sector.

I am convinced that everything we need for the power sector to succeed is available to us. We must ensure that all stakeholders Work together as a family to improve the lot of the power sector.

Thank you, gentlemen of the press.

Abubakar D. Aliyu, FNSE, Honourable Minister of Power

Wednesday, 27th October, 2021