NERC Moves to Finalize Regulations for Increased Power Generation

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has put in place plans to ensure  micro entrepreneurs are brought on board for power generation.

The commission believes that pockets of small megawatts can be generated by smaller companies particularly in large cities and the northern part of the country.

The Chairman of the Commission Sam Amadi who was in London at the weekend to make a presentation to the International Community on Nigeria’s power reforms, told Channels Television in an interview that NERC is working on finalizing some of the basic regulations that are not in place like the embedded generation regulation that can aid generation although in small but functional bits.

No Plan To Raise Electricity Tariff – NERC

The Chairman/CEO, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi has said that there is no plan to raise electricity tariff in Nigeria.

Dr Amadi, who was a guest on our business programme, `Business Morning’ said that neither the government, nor the new power firm owners have any plan to increase tariff.

According to him, it is a regulated market with control.

He said that the challenge the NERC is dealing with now is the validation and verification of the technical & collection losses and not tariff increase.

Also on the programme was former Chairman, Section on Business Law at the Nigerian Bar Association, George Etomi.

Etomi, who was representing the Eko Distribution Company, said that the plan for the new owners, working with the regulators is to ensure that everything associated with the infrastructural development and management skills that will help them to provide regular power supply is done.

However, Dr Amadi’s announcement appears a contradiction to an earlier statement by the NERC boss who said that the new tariffs which Nigerians will pay for improved power supply is not a means to rip them off, but will be justifiable.

He made the statement on the November 6 edition of the programme.

Also, the Minister of Power in Nigeria, Professor Chinedu Nebo, had warned citizens to prepare to endure some teething problems (including rise in the tariff) that may arise, after the hand-over of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria to its new owners.

“The rise will not last long. It will reduce to a manageable level over time,” he said.

 

Power Sector: New Tariffs Would Be Justifiable – NERC

The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Sam Amadi has explained that the new tariffs which Nigerians will pay for improved power supply is not a means to rip them off, but will be justifiable.

He said this while speaking on Channels Television’s Business programme, Business Morning.

The handover to successor companies, which he described as significant will not deviate from the thrust of the power sector reform which is geared towards a creation of an efficient, competitive electricity market.

He stated that the process of creating that market is on-going, so Nigerian consumers should expect that there would be improvement in customer service.

The structure of the market created by the government is to ensure sustainability of a gradual and continuous increase in capacity, both in generation, distribution and transmission of power.

Power Sector: New Tariffs Would Be Justifiable – NERC

The Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, (NERC), Sam Amadi, has said that the new tariffs consumers are expected to pay for improved power supply will be justifiable as investors will not be allowed to rip them off.

He said this on Channels Television’s business programme, Business Morning.

The handover to successor companies, which he described, as significant, will not deviate from the thrust of the power sector reform which is geared towards a creation of an efficient competitive electricity market.

“The process of that market is still on-going, so Nigerian consumers should expect that there would be improvement in customer service,” he explained.

The structure of the market created by the government is to ensure sustainability of a gradual and continuous increase in capacity, both in generation, distribution and transmission of power.

Although the new system is expected to result in higher tariffs, Mr Amadi, assured Nigerians that they would not be ripped off as investors would only be allowed to recover costs in a justifiable manner which would not overburden the consumers.

“The tariffs will not be increased until consultations with relevant stake holders, to ascertain a seamless system of operation and payment, are concluded,” he added.

Power Sector Investors To Set Up Customer Care Centres

The National Coordinator, Professionals and Business Groups of the People’s Democratic Party, Aroma Salifu, has said that the new investors in Nigeria’s power sector are expected to set up customer centres to address existing or arising issues following the official handover of the sector to private companies.

While speaking from our Abuja studio, on Sunrise Daily, Mr Salifu congratulated Nigerians and the Federal Government on the hand-over of the power sector to private companies through a credible and transparent process. He thanked Nigerians for their support, optimism, and for being hopeful about stable electricity.

“The process has been credible, has been transparent, has been fair and has been very competitive as being demonstrated in the last one year.”

On the outstanding payment of some PHCN workers, he stated that “the federal government has worked assiduously to ensure that all those who are entitled to being settled in the entire process are being settled as such.”

The remaining workers who are unpaid will be paid after the verification exercise is completed, he said.

The privitisation of the sector which took effect on the 1st of November has been touted as the solution to Nigeria’s power problem and stakeholders have expressed hopes that the country is closer to a new era of uninterrupted power supply.

However, Mr Salifu has stressed that the system needs to be overhauled as “there’s no way you will suddenly get stable electricity overnight.”

He added that there is a need for significant investment in the sector as the challenge cuts across the three aspects of generation, transmission and distribution.

“There is need for significant improvement and overhauling of the capacity to meet up with demands,” he said.

He disclosed that the World Bank is currently supporting the sector with about 1 billion dollars and there is a projection of FDI’s to the tune of 40 billion dollars.

These developments and investments are expected to translate into constant supply of electricity.

Although the country currently generates about 3500 MW, with its highest record of 4500 MW in 2012, Mr Salifu assured that the NIPP will supply an additional 10,000 MW while the off grid sources including wind, solar energy, coal, are expected to supply another 10000 MW.

However, the current projections only cover those who are already connected to power and not communities which are not yet connected.

The aggregate demand of power in Nigeria stands at 12000 MW.

He assured that the National Electricity Regulatory Agency (NERC) would ensure that the key players in the sector deliver what is expected to power consumers and “equally guarantee that consumers are not unfairly treated.”

“Since the private sector has taken over, it is a matter of time that generation is going to be improved upon significantly.”

Power Sector Reforms: Nigeria Has Not Gotten To The Point Of Reliability – Amadi

Sam Amadi. The chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Mr. Sam Amadi, says Nigeria has not gotten to the point of reliability that is expected in the power sector.

Mr Amadi made the observation while commenting on the power sector reforms.

He pointed out that the people running the system were uncertain about what will happen after the handover.

He said that in some parts of the country, the light situation has not been totally stable but above average.

“The idea of stability is very technical and managerial and this has a lot to do with how stable the light will be,” he said.

Speaking on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr. Amadi assured Nigerians of a more stable supply of electricity once the new owners commence work.

He explained that the operations from PHCN to the new owners would be the same but pointed out that there would be likely changes in management.

“The excessive blackout witnessed is caused by changes in configuration of network which is ignored instead of checked,” he explained.

Speaking on the pre-paid metre, Mr. Amadi stated that some areas such as Eko and Ikeja in Lagos State were carrying out their sensitisation programme properly while others are yet to carry out theirs.

NERC Justifies Increase In Electricity Fixed Charges

Despite condemnation by Nigerians over the increase in electricity charges without improved power supply, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has said the increase in fixed charges for electricity consumers is aimed at guaranteeing stable electricity supply in the nearest future.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja, NERC’s chairman, Dr Sam Amadi says the tariff paid by consumers is fair, reasonable and necessary to guarantee continuous improvement in electricity supply to homes and businesses in Nigeria.

He added that the multi-year tariff order of N500 fixed charge for 2012 was slightly increased to N700 with effect from June 2013 and as such there has not been an arbitrary increase of tariffs.

Electricity consumers in the country have been lamenting the annual increase in fixed charges which comes into effect on the 1st of June every year.

Some electricity consumers in their reaction advised the commission to work towards ensuring increased electricity supply by distribution companies.

Although the Nigerian Labour Congress has criticised the increase in fixed charges, the five year multiyear tariff order which came into effect in 2012 to ensure that electricity consumers pay more for electricity supply between now and 2017.

NERC Establishes Public Complaints Office In Kaduna

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has established a public complaints office in Kaduna state.

This latest initiative introduced by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is aimed at tackling the numerous challenges facing the power sector in the state.

Commissioner in charge of government and customer affairs of NERC, Abba Ibrahim, pointed out that the forum was established as part of efforts to ensure efficiency in the power sector.

He explained that complaints that could not be settled at the customer care units of Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company would be addressed by the forum office especially issues of over billing and poor service delivery.

The introduction of a forum office is expected to serve as one of the appeal levels for customer complaints to address disputes between electricity consumers and service providers.

Estimated billing has proven to be a major problem between consumers and the power holding company of Nigeria. With a huge deficit of meters, Nigerians across the country often lament the irregularity in their electricity charges

Residents say this public complaints forum, which has been inaugurated in eight states of the federation and the federal capital territory may not readily address the core challenges of electricity supply but may provide some respite, hopefully.

Electronic Meter To Be Installed Within 45 Days Of Payment – NERC

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has kicked off the new metering scheme with an order mandating the electricity distribution companies to commence implementation of the Credited Advance Payment for Metering Implementation (CAPMI).

NERC’s chairman, Dr Sam Amadi, while reeling out details of CAPMI told journalists in Abuja on Wednesday that the metering system provides a platform for customers that have paid for their meter to have it installed within 45 days.

The issuance of the electronic meter has been delayed for months and even years and a number of Nigerians have persistently demanded for the advance payment meter which eradicates the use of bills, as CAPMI is based on the pay-as-you-use format.

He further revealed that the commission has also signed an order mandating the distribution companies to supply meters paid for by customers dating back to January 2011.

CAPMI came about due to the slow pace of customer metering by the distribution companies as well as the high level of complaints from customers over the current estimated billing practices.

Dr. Amadi further gave the assurance that once privatisation of the power sector kicks in, meter challenges and estimated billings will be a thing of the past.

 

Poor Power Conservation Is Bigger Threat To Power Reforms – Fashola

The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Fashola has expressed dismay over the poor conservation of power utilities among Nigerians, describing it as a major threat to the power sector reforms.

Mr. Fashola expressed the concern in his address during the monthly “Distinguished Visitor” lecture of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in Abuja on Wednesday.

According to the governor, “the poor sense of value towards public utilities will always in the long run make a mess of successful projects.”

He stated that Nigeria has neglected such critical aspects in developing programmes to ensure stable power supply across the country, adding that the job of NERC as a regulator in the sector would be partial if it failed to emphasise to Nigerians the need for a value system built on conserving and preserving electricity utilities.

Mr Fashola called for a drive towards service improvement in the provision of utilities and also the all important aspect of conserving and preserving utilities, which is key to a sustainable future.

NERC threatens to revoke licences of Independent power producers

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has threatened to revoke the licences of Independent Power Producer found to have breached conditions of contract to sanitize the sector.

The erratic power supply in the country has for many decades become Nigeria’s greatest handicap. Huge fund set-aside over the years to address the situation has apparently not yielded positive results, but the NERC have now come up with a renewed drive.

The commission hopes to address the gaps created seven years ago when licences were issued to about 40 independent power producers overtime without any results so far with the potential to generate electricity of 20,000 megawatts.

The Chairman of the NERC, Sam Amadi, who made the threat at a forum on the bulk procurement regulation in Abuja, said the commission has designed new sets of guidelines to avoid confiscation of already generated plans.

According to Mr Amadi, all the proposals were unsolicited and the resulting cost to the Nigerian power system and the consumer could be huge and unacceptable if the disorderly approach continues.

“We have set up some guidelines that clearly state how each of the actors, the bulk traders, system operators, market operators, the generating companies, the Discos will now be able to interface in procuring power,” Mr Amadi said.

He further said: “What this act does is that it dispenses the old form. In the past people just come to us and say we want to put 500 megawatts of power plant in Ajeokuta or in Imo State; they negotiate with different actors but that has proved ineffective.

“We have today about 40 to 50 licensees with a capacity to generate 20, 000 megawatts, we don’t have it, and it’s on paper.”

The NERC Chairman said that the new guidelines will change the game plan, saying any operator found wanting or breaching the rules will be shown the way out.

“If an operator is serially in breach of his covenants, we can revoke his licence through due process and dispose of those assets,” he said.

Only recently, another major step was taken in the battle towards stable electricity in the country as successful bidders for the unbundled Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) generation firms were named, but Mr Amadi said the solution goes beyond successful biddings.

“We are not just concerning about the bidding but also on the quality and technical capacity of whoever wins because they are going to come and face the regulatory rigour in this market,” he said.

The big question now is, will these new developments in the sector finally resolve the protracted power problem of the country?

Governors support plans to increase electricity tariff

The 36 State governors, under the aegis of the Governors Forum on Friday said that they are in full support of the new electricity tariff regime and the on-going power reform programme of the federal government.
The Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi who spoke on behalf his collegues in Lagos at a Town Hall meeting organized by the Federal Ministry of Power said that the planned increase of electricity tariff is the only way the power sector can attract private sector investors.

“Government has no business generating power as well as distributing and transmitting power as this has not yielded result in time past,” he said.
Mr Obi said that the governors are not happy with the way the federal government deduct their money at source in the name of investing it into the power sector and at the end there is nothing to show for the investment.

“In fact, the South East governors have vowed not to have anything to do with the power sector until it is privatized and handed over to the private sector,” Mr Obi said.

The governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu who Chaired the Town Hall meeting narrated how his state had suffered the pains of the epileptic power supply in spite of the fact that they are host to the major power plants in the country.

He said that the 36 state governors rose from a meeting and agreed to support the new tariff regime after due consultations and discussion with the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), the agency responsible for the review of electricity tariff.