The Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) chaired the seventh monthly meeting of operators in the electricity industry in furtherance of identifying, discussing and finding practical solutions to issues facing the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry. The meeting was hosted by Benin Electricity Distribution Company.
The operators were fully represented at the highest executive management levels, including Managing Directors and CEOs of Generating Companies (GenCos), Distribution Companies (DisCos), and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), as well as various government agencies such as the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET), the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) responsible for the regulation and development of the electricity industry.
The meeting deliberated on various issues as follows:
- The meeting noted with regret an electrical accident in Lugbe area of the Federal Capital Territory which resulted in injuries and loss of lives and sympathised with the communities affected. The meeting called for a full investigation into the accident by Abuja Electricity Distribution Company.
- The meeting acknowledged the efforts of the hosts, Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), in making improvements to their network, including connecting previously disconnected areas, additional 472km of lines strung, as well as metering of more than 100,000 households.
- The Honourable Minister also noted some positive developments towards achieving incremental power, such as the recent initialling of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) to provide solar power from no less than twelve companies which should add almost 1000MW after implementation in coming years. The formal agreements will be signed shortly. He also noted that Azura power plant construction is on schedule and if completed, will add 450MW to the national grid.
- The meeting received reports from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on performance of operators, which after authentication and verification will be released to the public.
- Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (Ikeja DisCo) noted that it had conducted a review of its transformers and that it had rehabilitated and energized about twenty transformers which should result in improved service in its coverage area.
- The meeting reiterated the need for the Distribution Companies (DisCos) to intensify efforts to complete DisCo financed metering while winding down Credited Advance Payment for Metering Initiative (CAPMI) in which customers pay for meters. This is to ensure that customers do not unnecessarily bear the cost of installing meters. The meeting also noted that consumers need to be protected from estimated billing, through DisCos completing metering according to their plans.
- The meeting ascribed the delay in the completion of the critical Calabar – Ikot-Ekpene transmission line and other projects in the South East to unresolved local community issues especially in Itu Local Goernment because of shrines which are being aggressively addressed by the Niger Delta Power Holding Community (NDPHC).
- Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) noted that following decisions arising from the last meeting in Kano, repairs to the Okpai-Onitsha line have been completed and also that power has been restored to Maiduguri. TCN has also commenced restoration of transformers to Rimin-Zakara in Kano State to be completed in 2017.
- TCN discussed ongoing projects to support distribution in Benin DisCo, including a substation in Akure which is 85% complete, and the completion of a substation in Ughelli, currently being inspected by NEMSA. TCN also announced completion of projects in Ihovbor, Okada, Irrua and Oghara to enhance the transmission of power to Benin DisCo.
- The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) acknowledged current gas constraints to the power sector and assured of steps to improve gas supply to power plants which include restoring previous supply levels by completing repairs to vandalized pipelines by September 2016. NNPC also discussed new supply additions from alternative sources as well as improving readiness of power plants to receive gas which should improve power supply in the country.