Power Generation Hits 4,000 Megawatts

PowerElectricity supply through the national grid is now ramping up as it attains 4,387 megawatts peak generation as at Friday, March 4, 2016 with a prospect for further improvement in power supply situation.

The Head, Public Affairs Department at the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Usman Abba Arabi, said that this is following successful repair work on the damaged gas facility earlier in the week.

“It would be recalled that the peak generation level that notched epoch 5,070 megawatts few weeks ago suddenly nosedived due to inadequate gas supply on the main gas pipeline supplying many of the power stations.

“This was on account of gas supply shortage due to inability to evacuate condensates and oil produced with the gas because the main oil export pipeline out of Forcados was vandalized two weeks ago.

“However, with the successful repair work on the damaged facility, the system is now ramping up as it attains 4,387 megawatts peak generation as at Friday, March 4, 2016,” he said.

The acting Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Anthony Akah, has subsequently appealed to members of the public to cooperate with electricity industry operators and security agencies to stem the recent incident of vandalism on electricity installation.

He also warned the electricity distribution companies that the momentary downturn in supply should not be used to exploit unmetered electricity customers on estimated billing saying, “Customer bills for unmetered customers should be as accurate as possible and reflect their actual consumption. It shall in no circumstance be arbitrarily inflated.”

According to him, “The reduction in power supply when it lasted affects both metered and unmetered customers. For metered customers the drop in their consumption will be captured by their meter. For unmetered customers it is imperative that estimated bills during this period are reflective of their actual consumption.”

He further directed electricity distribution companies that unmetered and estimated customers have the right and option to pay current estimated electricity billing based on their last undisputed bill where there are concerns with the current estimated electricity bills.

He said that electricity distribution companies should ensure diligence and professionalism in the estimation of unmetered customers based on the provisions of the Billing Estimation Methodology Regulations, 2012.

He hinted that the Commission has deployed monitoring teams to report any act of negligence and extortion.

Imo State Recalls Suspended Workers To End Protests

NLC-Protest-IN-ImoThe Imo State government has recalled workers it suspended in 19 parastatals in the state, ending the disagreement between the government and labour unions on the issue.

The decision was reached on Wednesday after a meeting between the State government officials and some leaders of the labour unions.

Signed Agreement

In an agreement signed after talks by the ‘Committee on Joint Government-Labour Negotiation in Imo State’, an immediate recall of all suspended workers of Imo State was recommended, “notwithstanding that the parastatals in the opinion of Government should have been more productive”.

One of the other clauses in the agreement is that the gross revenue of the Government from all sources would be verified every month by the joint committee  of Government and Labour.

The agreement read: “That the Government will retain and run all its  affairs with not more than 30% of the verified revenue for the month, while the committee will apply the balance of 70% in the settlement of salaries of public servants and pensioners.

“Negotiations will continue with a view to fully accessing the wage bill of every Ministry, Department and Agency (MDA) and to determine the funding modalities of parastatals within the agreed percentage sharing framework.

“That a comprehensive agreement will be reached by both parties”.

Both parties were also of the opinion that at a quarterly interval, the position in Imo State on the critical areas would be reviewed and compliance ensured and that all revenue subheads for the month would be fully disclosed by the office of the Accountant General to select Committee of Labour.

It was also agreed that no public servant would be victimised in way as a result of the actions or in-actions leading up to this dispute and these resolutions

The agreement was signed by some government officials, led by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Technical matters, Honourable Emeh Ikenna, and some leaders of the labour unions’ led by the chairman of the NLC in Imo State, Comrade Austin Chilakpu

Before the suspension was reversed, members of the NLC from the 36 states of the federation led by the National President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, had converged on Owerri, the capital of Imo State to hold a protest and force the state to reverse its decision.

The protest was held to express their displeasure over the Concession Policy by the state government and the suspension of some workers.

Imo-State-NLC-Protest
Officials of the Imo State Government and the leader of the All Progressives Congress addressing the labour union after talks held to resolve the issues

All activities at the Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri and other government offices under the NLC were shutdown to effect the compliance of the protest.

‘Indolent And Redundant Workers’

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Oyegun, had earlier met with the Governor over the issues raised by the union to seek ways of resolving it.

Addressing reporters at the Government House, Mr Oyegun appealed to labour to cooperate with the Okorocha-led administration, which he said meant well for the people of the state.

He said that after his meeting with the Governor, he was convinced that the actions by the state government were in the overall interest of the state, urging both parties to demonstrate flexibility in their dialogue, considering the new economic realities on ground.

The State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, also told reporters that the protest by labour was uncalled for and politically motivated, as the decision taken by the state government was not for any personal gain but to sanitise the civil service and ensure that the civil service and public service in the state were more productive, efficient and effective.

“The government cannot continue to borrow to pay salaries of indolent and redundant workers putting into consideration the present economic situation in the country,” Governor Okorocha stressed.

 

Power Minister Says Tariff Hike Will Attract Investment

FasholaThe Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, says the new electrify tariff is the first major decision that will attract needed investment in the sector.

Fashola’s comment in Lagos on Monday came just as the Nigeria Labour Congress the Trade Union Congress and their allies held nationwide protest against the tariff hike of 45 per cent.

“The question on the lips of everybody is; why can’t we have power first before we pay?

“I wish we could do that, but if they understood that power business is funded from finance from banks. So, no bank is going to lend money to you if you can’t show a recovery price.

“That is the reason we can’t have power first before tariff. It has to be produced before we have it and it has to be paid for.

“The supplier of gas is not going to supply unless he sees his cash,” the Minister explained.

On the protest by the unions, Mr Fashola urged them not to start a new fight, saying “we don’t need one”.

“In any event, there are part of the employee of all these DISCOs and GENCOs that are still working, so let’s get to productivity. Let’s stop fighting (and) let’s produce.”

On the level of electricity supply which the unions are insisting must improve before a new tariff is issued, the Minister said that the capacity Nigeria had in January had never been reached before.

“In the last week of January, we recorded all time high generation of 5,000mw. Nigeria has never reached that level of generation (and) we need a lot more.

“But even with that 5,000mw, there is a lot of service work that needs to go on so that people can access the power.

“So not paying for power, you are disrupting the system; diverting lines, you are disrupting the system; vandalising pipes, you are disrupting the system, you are cheating the system, it is part of anti-corruption (and) everybody must pay for what he uses.

After a meeting with operators in the power sector, the Minister also inspected a transmission facility under construction.

He urged the contractor to expedite action so that incremental supply could be experienced.