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.

Power Minister Clarifies Controversy Over Abuja DISCO Leadership

A file photo of a power installation.

 

The Federal Ministry of Power has clarified the controversy triggered by the recent changes in the ownership structure and management of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company Plc (AEDC).

While noting that earlier reports had largely been communicated out of context, the Minister of Power, Engr. Abubakar Aliyu, said the AEDC has recently been facing significant operational challenges.

According to the minister, the issues arose from a dispute between the core investors (KANN consortium) as owners of 60% equity in AEDC and the UBA as lenders for the acquisition for the majority shareholding in the public utility.

READ ALSO: Enough Of Harassment Of Judicial Officers, We Can No Longer Take It – CJN

He further disclosed that the situation has currently deteriorated due to lack of access to intervention finances, leading to a point whereby legitimate entitlements of the staff are being owed.

This, Engr Aliyu, says is the reason service disruptions were encountered on December 6 within AEDC’s franchise area.

The Minister, however, emphasised that the Federal Ministry of Power has since taken the initiative to engage organised labour and electricity service has since been restored in the FCT and the states served by AEDC.

He added that the UBA, as a lender, and in exercising its rights over the shares of KANN Consortium in AEDC, has taken over the shares of the obligor in the AEDC.

The minister further explained that it was this takeover of the majority stake in AEDC by UBA that has consequently led to the reported changes in the management of the company.

According to him, the changes in shareholding in AEDC and the appointment of interim management by the shareholders have been endorsed by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (the industry regulator) and the Bureau of Public Enterprises (“BPE” as co-shareholders in AEDC).

In his summation, the minister reaffirmed the commitment of the Federal Ministry of Power to working with all stakeholders to ensure service continuity in all areas served by the AEDC.

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.

Lebanon In Blackout As Power Stations Run Out Of Fuel

This file photo taken on July 10, 2021, shows the Deir Ammar power station in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli. Lebanon was plunged into a total blackout today after two main power stations went offline because they ran out of fuel, the state electricity corporation said. Ibrahim CHALHOUB / AFP

 

Lebanon was plunged into a total blackout Saturday after two main power stations went offline because they ran out of fuel, the state electricity corporation said.

The Mediterranean country is battling one of the planet’s worst economic crises since the 1850s, and has in recent months struggled to import enough fuel oil for its power plants.

State electricity in most places is barely available for an hour a day amid rolling power cuts, while the fuel needed to power private back-up generators is also in short supply.

“After the Deir Ammar power station was forced to stop producing power yesterday morning (Friday) due its gasoil reserves running out, the Zahrani plant also stopped this afternoon for the same reason,” Electricite du Liban said in a statement.

This led to the network’s “complete collapse without any possibility of restoring it for the time being”, it said.

READ ALSO: Afghans Flock To Iranian Border, But Few Can Cross

In this file photo taken on June 23, 2021, a technician controls an electric switch board connecting homes to electricity generators in a suburb of Lebanon’s capital Beirut.  Joseph EID / AFP

 

It was the second such complete outage reported by EDL since the start of the month, after a similar incident last Saturday.

A source at the energy ministry told AFP that all was being done “to find a way out of the problem”.

EDL said that a fuel oil shipment was expected to arrive on Saturday evening, and was expected to unload at the beginning of next week.

Restoring electricity is one of the many tough tasks facing Lebanon’s new government, formed last month after 13 months of political wrangling.

Several measures have been launched in a desperate bid to keep the lights on.

Lebanon has reached an agreement towards bringing Jordanian electricity and Egyptian gas into the country via war-torn Syria, while Shiite movement Hezbollah has separately started hydrocarbon deliveries from Iran.

This file photo taken on April 3, 2021, shows a partial view of the damaged Lebanese Electricity Company (EDL) headquarters in the capital Beirut. Anwar AMRO / AFP

 

The state is also bringing in some fuel oil for power stations in exchange for medical services under a swap deal with Iraq.

The international community has long demanded a complete overhaul of Lebanon’s loss-making electricity sector, which has cost the government more than $40 billion since the end of the 1975-1990 civil war.

AFP

FG Approves N6.2bn For Six New Power Projects

A file photo of power installation.

 

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.

A file photo of the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, at his office in Abuja. Photo: Twitter- @EngrSMamman

 

“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.

Zamfara Power Outage Cripples Economic Activities In Kaura Namoda Town

A photo showing the map of Zamfara, a state in north-west Nigeria.

 

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.

READ ALSO: ‘It Is Very Devastating,’ Father Of Missing Nigerian Teenager In London Calls For Help

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.”

Court Remands Ex-Power Minister In EFCC Custody Over Alleged Corruption

Man Bags 15 Years In Prison For N5.2m Fraud
A file photo of a court gavel.

 

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.

Electricity Consumers To Pay More As NERC Adjusts Tariff

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

 

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]

Nigeria’s Power Generation Hits Another Historic Peak In Two Days

A file photo of a powerline.
A file photo of a power line.

 

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.

A file photo of the logo of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) taken in Abuja on May 11, 2020. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

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.

Ndidi Mbah

GM (Public Affairs)

31st October 2020

FG Approves N8.64bn For Phase One of Siemens Power Grid

 

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.

A file photograph of Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed.
A file photograph of Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed.

 

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.

READ ALSO: FG Partners Siemens To Distribute 25,000MW Of Electricity By 2023

“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,” 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.”

 

Niger Republic, Benin Owe Nigeria Up To N1.4bn For Electricity – Presidency

A file photo of Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu

 

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.

READ ALSO: Akpabio Must Publish Names Of Lawmakers Who Got NDDC Contracts, Reps Insist

“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.”

 

Power Sector Lacks Coordination – Senate

A file photo of lawmakers in the Senate.

 

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.