The Federal Government has approved about N6.2 billion for the award of contracts for six projects in the power sector.
Mr Mamman Saleh, who is the Minister of Power, disclosed this to State House correspondents on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
He briefed reporters at the end of the 44th virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided by President Muhammadu Buhari.
At the meeting, efforts by the government to boost power supply in the country dominated discussions as the council approved all six memos presented for consideration by Saleh.
The approvals included the award of a contract for the design, manufacture, and supply of critical spare parts for Crompton Greaves 330KV, 132KV, and 33KV circuit breakers at N298,339,887.04; and procurement of 50 sets of 400AH battery banks – 30 to 50 volts, and 30 number of 110 volts battery charges for the substation used by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) at N644,805,953.10.
Others were award of contract for the design, manufacture, and supply of three 60/66 MVA 132KV power transformers with accessories, and 15 number of 500 kV transformers, 33/0.415KV earthing transformers for the TCN at N1,296,953,044.55 with a delivery period of 12 months.
“All that the government is doing is to make sure that first and foremost, the supply is stable,” the minister said.
He added, “The government also wants to make sure that we upgrade the supply, maybe from 4,000 megawatts to 5,000, to 6,000, to 7,000 megawatts. So, the more we replace some obsolete and outdated equipment, the more we improve the supply of electricity.”
The power minister explained that the procurements were geared towards upgrading the transmission system to the national grid for greater efficiency and to ensure sufficient power supply to the nation in no distant time.
On the promised distribution of 1,000,000 meters, he noted that the first phase of the exercise was close to completion.
Saleh stressed that Nigerians who receive less than 24 hours power supply would be charged a lesser tariff than others.
Residents of Kaura Namoda Local Government Area of Zamfara State are lamenting over epileptic electricity supply, which according to them, is hampering economic activities.
The residents in a statement issued on Wednesday by the Publicity Secretary of the Kaura Namoda Focus Forum, Abdulrazak Kaura, said Kaura Namoda, as the second-largest city in Zamfara State, has continued to remain in darkness and economic activities at standstill, due to incessant power outage, over the years.
“Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KAEDCO) is operating as an oracle, considering the way they handle customers with impunity, especially the Kaura Namoda community,” the statement read.
The residents also said the company is keeping them in perpetual darkness, charging them high because they have no option due to the monopoly in electricity distribution in the area.
The statement hinted that as a business hub, Kaura Namoda is now in a sorry state in terms of poor power supply, which has crippled the economy and blocked opportunities for entrepreneurship, thereby increasing the level of unemployment amongst the youths and leaving the growing ones hopeless.
The forum acknowledged the efforts of some KEDCO staff, which are always doing their best to manage the obsolete equipment at the Kaura Namoda Power Station, other Sub-Stations, and the step-down transformers, using their tools and vehicles.
The statement, however, noted that the KEDCO will supply power to Kaura Namoda Community once in a while for between 1-3 hours towards the month-end, to get their customers to settle their bills and to avoid disconnection, even when notice is not served.
The forum said the residents are being billed on monthly estimation, regardless of whether the power is supplied or not, and the least they are charged is N4, 000 per household.
The forum called on the relevant and concerned authorities to come to their aid and salvage the residents from the traumatic condition so that they can have a sense of belonging as Nigerians.
Meanwhile, the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company has apologised to residents of Gusau and its environs for the intermittent interruption of power in the area.
The company in a statement issued on Wednesday by its spokesman, Abdulazeez Abdullahi, blamed the situation on “the low (and sometimes zero) allocation from the national grid.”
“It is pertinent to state that in the last one week, the allocation to Gusau Area Office from the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN has remained 5 megawatts only. This is a far cry from the about 35 megawatts required to provide 12 hours services to our valued customers,” the statement read.
“As painful as the situation, it should be understood that this is outside the scope of our mandate as a Distribution Company. This is entirely a TCN limitation
“While we are engaging the appropriate unit in TCN to ensure the return to normalcy, we regretted the hardship and inconveniences caused our valued customers by this unpleasant development.”
An Abuja High Court has remanded a former Minister of State for Power, Mohammed Wakil, in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over allegations of corruption.
Wakil, who was arrested by the EFCC at his Abuja residence on Sunday, was arraigned on Monday before Justice Suleiman Belgore on two counts bordering on corruption and abuse of office.
He was arraigned alongside two companies, Corozzeria Nigeria Limited and Pikat Properties Nigeria Limited.
According to the anti-graft agency, the former minister allegedly received N118 million as gratification from Bestworth Insurance Brokers Limited, out of the N27,188,232,208 approved outstanding insurance premiums and claims of deceased and incapacitated staff of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
Count one of the charges read; “That you Muhammed Wakil, while being Minister of Power and Managing Director of Corozzeria Nigeria Limited, and Corozzeria Nigeria Limited, on or about 22nd December 2014, in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did corruptly receive the sum of N118,000,000.00(One Hundred and Eighteen Million) Naira only through Corozzeria Nigeria Limited’s Polaris Bank Account No. 4010023658 from Bestworth Insurance Brokers Limited out of the sum of N27,188,232,208.20 (Twenty Seven Billion, One Hundred and Eighty-Eight Million, Two Hundred and Thirty-two Thousand, Two Hundred and Eight Naira, Twenty Kobo) being the sum approved for the payment of outstanding insurance premiums and claims of deceased and incapacitated staff of Power Holding Company of Nigeria( PHCN), and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8(1)(a) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under Section 8(1)(b)(ii)of the same Act.”
The former minister, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
An application for bail by the lawyer to the defendant, Bert Igwilo, was opposed by the prosecution counsel, Benjamin Manji, who insisted that the defendant has to bring a formal application before the court.
The prosecutor also asked the court to set a date for the commencement of the trial and for the remand of the defendant at a correctional centre, pending trial.
The court adjourned the matter until March 31, 2021, for the determination of bail application and ordered that the defendant be remanded in the custody of the EFCC.
Consumers in the country will begin to pay more for electricity following an adjustment of tariff by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
The approval was given in a Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO) signed by the new NERC Chairman, Sanusi Garba, and obtained by Channels Television on Tuesday.
In the document dated December 31, 2020, the agency stated that the order was effective from January 1, 2021.
The new rate is payable by electricity customers of the 11 Distribution Companies (DISCOs) spread across the country.
The new increment order was issued barely two months after the implementation of the controversial increase proposed in 2020.
Part of the document reads,
This order supersedes ORDER/NERC/202B/2020 and shall take effect from 1 January 2021 and shall cease to have effect on the issuance of a new Minor Review Order or an Extraordinary Tariff Order by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (“NERC” or the “Commission”).
The commission, pursuant to sections 32 and 76 of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (“EPSRA”), issued the Revised MYTO – 2020 Tariff Order within an effective date of 1 November 2020 to address, amongst other objectives, the transition to cost-reflective tariffs (CRT) and introduction of Service-Based Tariffs (SBT) regime with a view to improving customer service experience as well as ensuring financial sustainability of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (“NESI”).
In line with the Regulations on Procedure for Electricity Tariff Review in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry and MYTO Methodology (Amended), this Minor Review of the Revised MYTO – 2020 Order considered the impact of inflation rates (Nigeria and USA), foreign exchange rate (NGN/USD), gas prices, available generation capacity and material variances to the accompanying CAPEX and OPEX required for the evacuation and distribution of available generation capacity.
Accordingly, the Order is issued to reflect the impact of changes in the Minor Review variables as indicated in section 7 of this Order and used relevant projections based on best available information in the determination of cost-reflective tariffs (CRT) and relevant tariff shortfalls for the year 2021.
The Order also determines the minimum remittances payable by IBEDC in meeting its market obligations based on the allowed end-user tariffs.
NERC Denies ’50 Per Cent’ Tariff Increase
Five days after the order was issued, there was an outcry over the adjustment by NERC following reports that consumers would pay about 100 per cent more.
In a swift reaction, the regulatory body denied the reports and accused the media outfits that published same of misinforming the public.
NERC, in a series of tweets, insisted that tariff for customers being served less than an average of 12 hours of supply per day over a period of one month would remain frozen and subsidised, in line with the policy direction of the Federal Government.
It, however, admitted that the rates for service bands A, B, C, D, and E have been “adjusted” by N2 to N4 per kilowatt-hour (KWH).
Noting that the adjustment was in compliance with the provisions of the Electric Power Sector Reform (ESPR) Act and Nigeria’s tariff methodology for biannual minor review, the agency explained that it was aimed at reflecting the partial impact of inflation and movement in forex.
Read the statement issued by NERC below:
PUBLIC NOTICE ON PURPORTED 50% INCREASE IN ELECTRICITY TARIFFS
The attention of the Commission has been drawn to publications in the print and electronic media misinforming electricity consumers that the Commission has approved a 50% increase in electricity tariffs.
The Commission hereby states unequivocally that NO approval has been granted for a 50% tariff increase in the Tariff Order for electricity distribution companies which took effect on January 1, 2021.
On the contrary, the tariff for customers on service bands D & E (customers being served less than an average of 12hrs of supply per day over a period of one month) remains frozen and subsidised in line with the policy direction of the FG.
In compliance with the provisions of the EPSR Act and the nation’s tariff methodology for biannual minor review, the rates for service bands A, B, C, D and E have been adjusted by NGN2.00 to NGN4.00 per kWhr to reflect the partial impact of inflation & movement in forex.
In the light of strong public interest on this matter, the media is hereby requested to retract their earlier publications misinforming electricity consumers nationwide about a purported 50% increase in electricity tariffs.
The Commission remains committed to protecting electricity consumers from failure to deliver on committed service levels under the service-based tariff regime.
Any customer that has been impacted by any rate increases beyond the above provision of the tariff Order should report to the Commission at [email protected]
The nation’s power sector has recorded yet another national peak generation, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) said on Saturday.
Ms Ndidi Mbah, the General Manager of Public Affairs at the TCN, disclosed this in a statement.
She stated that Nigeria recorded a peak power generation of 5,520.40MW at about 9:15pm on Friday, 60.90MW higher than the previous 5.459MW recorded on Wednesday.
The TCN spokesperson explained that the new national peak was a result of continued collaboration among players and the gradual increase of capacity in the power sector.
She noted that the transmission company, on its part, seamlessly transmitted the new peak at a frequency of 50.11Hz. through the nation’s grid, with the current capacity of 8,100MW.
Mbah noted that players in the power sector value chain have continued to work together to improve the nation’s power supply.
On behalf of TCN, she urged the people to support the company and protect the power infrastructure across the country.
She also asked them to desist from bush burning and burning of trash beside transmission towers or under power line cables nationwide.
Nigeria has continued to witness a steady increase in the generation of power in the last few months as the Federal Government steps up efforts to improve service delivery in the sector.
On August 18, TCN recorded an all-time national peak of 5,420.30MW at about 9:15pm, exceeding the previous peak of 5,377.80MW recorded on August 1 by 42.50MW.
This was later surpassed by the figure of 5.459MW reported on October 28, with a difference of 39.2MW.
Read the full statement by Mbah below:
POWER SECTOR RECORDS NEW 5,520.40MW PEAK
The power sector has recorded yet another national peak generation of 5,520.40MW on 30th October 2020 at 9:15pm, surpassing the previous 5.459MW recorded on 28th October 2020 by 60.90MW.
The new national peak is a result of continued collaboration among players and the gradual increase in capacity in the power sector.
On her part, with the current capacity of 8,100MW, TCN seamlessly transmitted the new peak at a frequency of 50.11Hz. through the nation’s grid.
As players in the power sector value chain continue to work together to improve the nation’s power supply, TCN implores everyone to help protect power infrastructure nationwide and desist from bush burning or burning of trash beside transmission towers or under power line cables nationwide.
The federal government on Wednesday approved N8.64bn for the end-to-end grid modernisation and expansion project of the nation’s power infrastructure.
The move is part of measures towards resolving the electricity problem in Nigeria.
In 2019, the federal government had signed an agreement with German-based company Siemens to distribute 25,000 megawatts of electricity by the year 2023.
The N8.65bn is the Federal Government’s counterpart funding for the project.
The decision followed a joint memo on the subject presented by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, and the Minister of Power, Mr. Saleh Mamman to the Federal Executive Council seeking the release of the fund on Wednesday.
Briefing State House Correspondents after the 10th virtual FEC meeting chaired by President Buhari at the State House in Abuja, the Minister of Finance said the project will be implemented in three phases.
“The objective of this Presidential Power Initiative is to address the intractable problems that have bedeviled the Nigerian power industry over a period of years,” she said.
According to Ahmed, “the project is designed to include 23 transmission initiatives as well as 175 separate transformative projects in the electricity distribution franchises that we have in the country.”
The 12-year loan has an interest of London Interbank Offered Rate plus 1% to plus 1.2%.
It is also a convertible loan facility to the discos and will be restructured as soon as the first phase of the process is done.
This Phase 1 focused on “quick-win” measures to increase end-to-end operational capacity of Nigeria’s electricity grid to 7 GW. Transmission projects proposed under Phase 1 include 132/33 kV Mobile Substations; 132/33 kV(60 MVA) Transformers, and Containerized GIS Substations.
“This Phase 1 focused on “quick-win” measures to increase end-to-end operational capacity of Nigeria’s electricity grid to 7 GW,” Presidential aide, Tolu Ogunlesi, said on Wednesday. “Transmission projects proposed under Phase 1 include 132/33 kV Mobile Substations; 132/33 kV(60 MVA) Transformers, and Containerized GIS Substations.”
Two of Nigeria’s closest neighbours, Benin and Niger owe the country up to N1.4bn, the Presidency revealed on Tuesday.
In a statement, signed by spokesman Garba Shehu, addressing a report questioning why the nation was exporting electricity to neighbouring countries on credit – while blackouts persist nationwide – the Presidency noted that, as at 2019, the debt owed by four countries totalled $69m.
“As of the last review in 2019, the amount of indebtedness to all three customers stood at $69 million, subsequent upon which several payments were made to NBET,” the statement said. “Much of this has been repaid by the debtor nations.
“As of today, Niger owes only USD 16 million and Benin, USD 4 million, adding up to the Naira equivalent of about N1.2bn.”
Why Nigeria Exports Power Despite Local Shortage?
The Presidency statement on Tuesday explained that the country exports power to neighbouring countries in respect of multilateral agreement that prevents the damming of water sources into the nation’s main hydropower stations.
“Power exported to Niger, Benin and Togo based on Multilateral Energy Sales Agreement with the Government of Nigeria is on the basis that they would not dam the waters that feed our major power plants in Kainji, Shiroro and Jebba,” the Presidency said.
“The essence of said bilateral agreements, by which we give them power and they do not build dams on the River Niger means that Nigeria and her brotherly neighbours had avoided the unfolding situation of the Nile River between the sovereign states of Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.”
The chairman, Senate Committee on power Senator Gabriel Suswam is alarmed at what he describes as the lack of coordination in Nigeria’s power sector.
Senator Suswam who spoke to journalists on the sidelines of a public hearing on the power sector lamented that despite the huge funds pumped into the power sector, there is not much progress in terms of providing sufficient electricity to Nigerians.
He also said that the sector is insolvent as government ministries, departments and agencies are owing electricity distribution companies N98 billion in electricity bills.
The Federal Ministry of Power has said no decision has been reached by the Federal Government to provide free electricity for Nigerians for two months.
In a tweet on its official handle, Friday, the Ministry said that if the decision is taken, it will be announced officially.
“Please Note: NO DECISION has been taken by the Federal Government to provide Nigerians with FREE ELECTRICITY for 2 months. If and when that becomes a reality, it shall be announced officially,” the tweet read.
The tweet added: “Be rest assured that FG is exploring ways to ameliorate any hardship on Nigerians.”
Please Note: NO DECISION has been taken by the Federal Government to provide Nigerians with FREE ELECTRICITY for 2 months. If and when that becomes a reality, it shall be announced officially. Be rest assured that FG is exploring ways to ameliorate any hardship on Nigerians.
On Wednesday, Electricity distribution companies announced that they have aligned with the proposal by the National Assembly and the Federal Government to give Nigerians two months free electricity.
“In fulfillment of our commitments to the nation, we hereby align ourselves with the efforts of the National Assembly and the Federal Executive to mitigate the hardships that are currently being borne by our customers and other citizens all over the country,” the Director, Research and Advocacy, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), Sunday Oduntan said.
The Minister of Power, Saleh Maman, says Nigeria’s major problem with electricity supply is due to the low distribution of 3,000 megawatts.
He stressed that the country can generate up to 13,000mw of electricity, but cannot transmit all.
Mr Maman said after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday that despite the generation, transmission can only take 7,000 and distribution companies can only receive 3,000 because of the technical and commercial losses.
“The problem of our generation is mainly distribution, we can transmit, we can generate; we can generate 13,000, we transmit 7,000 but we can only distribute 3,000; so there is a lot of work to do on transmission companies and the government is willing to take up the matter immediately.
“Most of the problem we are facing today in this country that we cannot get electricity supplies adequately is because we have a problem in distribution.”
He stated that the government was in talks with a German firm, Siemens, to be part of solutions it was seeking to address the challenges.
He added that the involvement of Siemens will ensure that Nigerians start enjoying uninterrupted power supply.
“We have to correct the infrastructure, so today I have submitted my observation to the government and I believe that they are on it.
“FG has entered into an MoU with the German government, Siemen who are here to align between distribution, transmission and also generation so that at the end of the day, if we generate 13,000, transmission will take and distribute the same 13,000 so by that time, Nigeria will be happy and everybody will have uninterrupted electricity supply,” he added.
South Africa’s ailing state power utility on Friday implemented the highest level of electricity rationing after its coal supply was dampened by rain.
Debt-ridden Eskom, which generates 95 percent of the country’s electricity, is reeling from years of corruption and mismanagement under former president Jacob Zuma’s government.
Despite multiple government bailouts, its poorly maintained coal-fired power stations struggle to keep up with the electricity demands of Africa’s most industrialised economy — forcing it to implement rolling blackouts known as loadshedding.
“Eskom has lost additional generation units this morning,” said a company statement on Friday, one day after announcing a new bout of power cuts.
“And with units not having returned to service as scheduled,” it added, “loadshedding (needs) to move up from stage 2 to stage 4”.
The highest stage calls for 4,000 MW — just under 10 percent of Eskom’s maximum effect — to be cut from the national power grid.
Eskom blamed days of “incessant rain” in several parts of the country.
“We are beginning to experience coal-handling problems at a number of our power stations as a result of wet coal,” said the statement.
“If the weather persists, we are likely to implement loadshedding through the weekend.”
Rolling blackouts in February and March plunged businesses, homes and schools into darkness for hours on end.
Loadshedding resumed again in October, when the government unveiled plans to restructure the company and orient it towards more renewable sources of energy.
South Africa has been struggling to salvage state-owned companies from the damage caused by Zuma’s administration.
Its national airline was placed under a business rescue plan this week to avoid its total collapse.
Meanwhile, Eskom has accumulated $30 billion (27 billion euros) of debt and seen 10 CEOs quit in the space of a decade.
The latest left in July citing “unimaginable demands” of the job.
Credit ratings agencies have warned Eskom’s situation could cause downgrades to South Africa’s sovereign credit rating and embarrass President Cyril Ramaphosa, who has vowed to restore the economy after his re-election this year.
There is an urgent need for the Federal Government to recapitalise the 11 existing Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) across the country.
This was part of the recommendations made by the Managing Director of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Usman Mohammed, and some experts at an event on Friday in Kaduna State.
They also asked the government to effectively fund the transmission network, in order for Nigeria to overcome the challenges of epileptic power supply.
The recommendations were made at a national discourse on addressing the power sector reforms organised by the Kaduna Polytechnic.
Experts suggested that the 40 per cent shares held by the Federal Government in the DISCOs be divested and sold to investors with technical competence.
According to them, there is a need to ensure that only capable hands drive the sector since the Federal Government cannot sustainably fund power supply.
In his remarks, the TCN boss faulted the privatisation process of the distribution companies in 2013 which led to the mismanagement of electricity distribution in the country.
He insisted that it would be more beneficial to Nigeria and the power sector if the distribution companies were recapitalised to enable competent hands to come in.
A former Director-General of Energy Commission of Nigeria, Professor Abubakar Sambo, also presented a paper on the way forward for the nation’s power sector.
He noted that although the power sector reforms have not led to significant improvement of electricity supply, there was a need to increase the electricity supply base.
Professor Sambo also called for the setting up of more generating companies, adding that more associated evaluating plants should be built with special purpose vehicles.
He stressed the need for the government to review licenses of distribution companies, entrench energy efficiency and conservation, remove obstacles to private sector investment, and enhance transmission network among other recommendations as the way forward.
Earlier, the convener of the event and Rector of Kaduna Polytechnic, Professor Idris Bugaje, opened the floor for discussion.
He decried the long years of neglect of the power sector and highlighted what government should urgently do if it must achieve the goal of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations by providing all citizens access to electricity by the year 2030.
Delivering his keynote address, the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, acknowledged that power reform, although well-intentioned, has not made the expected impact largely due to severe structural deficits in both transmission and distribution.
He, however, revealed that the Federal Government has developed five key focal areas to effectively tackle the challenges.
Experts who spoke to reporters on the sideline of the event called for diversification of the power generation from gas and hydro sources into others such as coal, solar, and wind.