Ikeja, Abuja, Six Other DisCos Risk License Cancellation, Says NERC

 

The licenses of eight power distribution companies may be canceled for breaching section 74 of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA).

According to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), the power distribution firms include Ikeja, Abuja, Benin, and Enugu Discos.

Others are Kaduna, Kano, Port Harcourt, and Yola Discos.

NERC an eight-page notice described the actions of the DisCos as “manifest and flagrant breaches” and they have 60 days to explain why their licenses should not be canceled.

“The Commission considers the actions of the aforementioned DisCos as “manifest and flagrant breaches” of EPSRA, terms, and conditions of their respective distribution licenses and the Order; and therefore requires each of them show cause in writing within 60 days from the date of receipt of this Notice as to why their licenses should not be canceled in accordance with section 74 of EPSRA.”

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The commission also insisted that DisCos with an excess of tariff shortfall over market shortfall shall be compensated accordingly for the difference, but all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies should also be metered within 60 days.

“The Order reiterated that the responsibility and initiative for revenue collections from all customers including Ministries, Departments and Agencies (“MDAs”) of States and Federal Government rest with the DisCos.

“Accordingly, this order made it mandatory for all DisCos to meter all MDAs with appropriate meters of their choice within 60 days from the effective date of this Order.

“All DisCos reserve the right to disconnect any MDAs defaulting in the payment for electricity in line with the Regulation on Connection and Disconnection Procedures for Electricity Services,” it added.

Fashola Admits No Sufficient Power For Distribution

FasholaNigeria’s Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, says there is currently not enough power to distribute unless more turbines are switched on.



He attributed recent power outages in some parts of the country to four turbines which stopped working, but hoped electricity supply would be stabilized soon as three of the four turbines have been restored.

“Yesterday morning we had some outages in Jebba but I am happy to report now that all the four turbines that were down, three have been restored, so there is stability now.

“It is important why the power coming from Aba is defining, its part of what I’ve spoken about. There is not enough power in the country.

“So how do you share what is not enough such that everybody gets enough? Its difficult, if not impossible.

“So what we need to do is to get more power on. So about 200 megawatts coming from there is good news for the market,” he said.

The Minister also expressed confidence that President Muhammadu Buhari’s 10,000 megawatts target would be met.

He, however, decried acts of vandalism which he says is causing some of the energy problems in the country.

“Everyone of us must contribute something now to solve the problem; it a problem we can solve. That will reduce the number of people who are contributing to being the problem.

“So those who are vandalizing electricity assets, those who are selling stolen cable, those who are not paying their bills and those diverting electricity are all problems.”

 

Nigerians Can Now Sue Power Sector Investors – Lawyer

A legal Practitioner, Emmanuel Umoren, on Friday warned the new private investors and owners of Nigeria’s power sector of breaching their contract with the people, insisting that consumers now have the power to sue them to court.

“Every transaction is a contract and if there’s any breach whatsoever they can be sued,” he said.

Mr Umoren who was a guest on Sunrise Daily, commended the government’s decision to privatise the power sector, making it a business which is liable to be sued if consumers discover a breach in the contract.

“It is business now. It’s no more government money. Let these DISCOs know that (now) we can take them to court. That’s a very important part. We can now take them to court because they are business men,” he said.

He highlighted some circumstances in which consumers can sue the power companies, including power surge (which leads to damages). On cases of in availability of electricity, Umoren said “it is going to be very difficult to sue them for not providing you light,” but added that the position may change as time goes on and with the intellectual improvement in the judiciary system.

On complains of power shortage in some areas, Umoren said “my major problem is that we do not think these things through because you are creating monopolies in areas.” He explained that the issue of metering lies with the distribution companies (DISCOs) and added that efforts are being made by investors to check cases of power theft by citizens as such usages are unaccounted for.

He however complained about the unavailability of options for end users leading to monopoly which does not benefit Nigerians. He said there should be options in case consumers are not satisfied with the services of a certain distribution company and added that consumers should be able to switch to any DISCO of choice as such is obtainable in other climes.

On the increase in service charge(s) raised twice within the last year, Umoren questioned the activities of the new investors. “How did we arrive at the first price, if you did not do a thorough analysis of doing the business?” he asked.

On nationwide complains regarding fixed service charge of N750 which may be increased as well as payment of meter maintenance without getting the required maintenance services, Umoren warned the private investors that they are liable to court charges by citizens.

He also faulted the dominance of political cases at the Supreme Court which does not allow for the prominence of other issues, including business, which affect the citizens.

“The decisions that come from the Supreme Court and Appeal Court(s) are mostly political issues because they (politicians) have the money,” Umoren said.

Government Doing ‘Pretty Good’ In Power Sector – Mukan

An Energy Expert, Joshua Mukan, on Tuesday gave President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration a thumbs-up for its efforts towards delivering stable power supply for the citizens.

While giving his assessment of the energy sector on Sunrise Daily, Mukan said: “I think the government is doing pretty good within the time frame they came into power.” In his opinion, the investments and expenditures made toward the sector within the past three years show that “this government has really tried to take (away) the problems of our power sector, uprooting it from the bottom.”

For Nigerians to have access to constant electricity supply, all three energy sub-sectors – power generation, power transmission and power distribution – will have to function efficiently.

“No matter how efficient the power generation sub-sector does, if it is not transmitted very well, or distributed very well, the customer is dissatisfied.”

Mr Mukan, who commented on the efforts of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) despite the dilapidated state of the existing infrastructure prior to the commencement of the power sector reform, stated that the “PHCN did its own best” which failed to yield desired results.

Following the official handover of the power sector to private investors, Mukan warned that it may take time before the impact would be felt by end-users. “The amount of investments that have come in right now, for the power industry, believe me, my understanding is that it may take a little bit of time to materialise.”

He said the government had invested heavily in thermal plants which should not take much time to come on-stream compared to the hydro-electric power plants. He added that it may take a maximum of one year for thermal plants to begin operation.

He stressed the need for the government to invest in other power options, particularly gas.

“Nigeria is now to be one of the biggest world petroleum producing countries and one would imagine that gas should not be a problem in this country. But unfortunately, one of the greatest problems we have to our thermal plants is the availability of gas,” he said.

He highlighted ‘lines of failures’ between gas production and distribution to the thermal plants including vandalism or explosion at a rig.

 

Expect Constant Electricity Supply Soon, Engineer Tells Nigerians

The Vice President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Otis Anyaeji on Wednesday said that if the Federal Government continues with the pace it applied in the power sector since the 2009 then Nigerian may soon enjoy steady power supply.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Mr Anyaeji said achieving steady power generation is not the main issue but maintaining the power generated and the supporting infrastructure.

He said, “Certainly, if we continue moving at the pace the country has moved in power since 2009, there is no doubt that we are going to achieve steady, reliable power supply status in the shortest possible time and then maintain it at that because power development is not a senile phenomenon as it is an activity that has to go on at all times.”

He said to achieve the desirable power supply, Nigeria has to keep investing in power to add capacity and maintain what’s already on ground and continue to expand on these investments.

Mr Anyaeji said power generation goes with distribution and transmission and that Nigeria has and can achieve equal capacity in all the three areas.

He however noted that the major problem is capacity. He cited a a grid study done after the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) did some emergency installations of infrastructures to boost power generation saying the study found that the grid would not be able to take on those plants built by the NIPP, hence more projects for strengthening the grid.

Watch video for more details.

Electricity: FG targets 6,873mw by 2013

The Federal Government on Friday said mechanisms have been put in place to boost the country’s electricity generation to almost 7,000 megawatts by the end of 2013.

The Minister of State for Power, Zainab Kuchi and management staff of agencies in the sector at a meeting on performance in Abuja gave a rundown of achievements in the sector so far and how the new projections will be achieved.

Mrs Kuchi said the power ministry is in strong partnership with the private and public sectors to improve the value chain in power delivery especially the improvement of gas delivery for power.

Giving a breakdown of power generation in the country, the Chief Executive Officer of Egbin power plant, Mike Uzoigwe, said the current capacity of all Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) successor generation companies (GENCO) for the fourth quarter of 2012 is 2,829megawatts adding that 3,879megawatts has been projected for 2013.

He explained that with an additional 2,500megawatts expected to be generated from the Independent Power Plants (IPPS) and the National Integrated Power Plants (NIPPS), the total available power to the national grid by 2013 will be 6,873mw.

Jonathan reconstitutes two committees on power

President Goodluck Jonathan has once more assured Nigerians and foreign investors that the progress made in the power sector remains irreversible.

The president gave this assurance while inaugurating two committees that he said will work day and night to ensure that Nigerians enjoy steady power supply despite the recent resignation of the minister of power, Barth Nnaji.

The committees are the presidential action committee on power which will headed by Mr Jonathan himself.

The other members of the presidential action committee on power include Vice President Namadi Sambo, the Secretary to the Federal Government, Anyim Pius Anyim, and the head of service of the federation, Isa Bello Sali.

Others are the chief of staff to the president, the Attorney General of the Federation, the coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, the Ministers of Labour and Productivity, power, Petroleum resources, and National Planning, the Chief Economic Adviser to the president, the personal adviser to the president on performance monitoring, the Director General of Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), the Director General, Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) , the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corp (NNPC) and the Chairman of the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

The second committee on power reconstituted by President Jonathan is the Presidential Task Force which will be headed by Engineer Beks Dagogo-Jack.

The other members of this committee are the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Pls, Rumundaka Wonodi, the Chief Executive Officer of Transmission Company of Nigeria, Olusola Akinniraye, the Chief Executive Officer of Abuja Electrity Distribution Company, Abdulganiyu Umar, the Chief Executive Officer of Ughelli Power Plc, Paul Umunna, the Chief Executive Officer of Eko Electricity Distribution Company, Oladele Amoda.

Others are the Managing Director of Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited, James Olotu, the Managing Director of Nigeria Gas Company, Saidu Mohammed, the Chief Executive Officer of Geregu Power Plc, Adeyemi Adenuga, and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Dere Awosika.