By Udeme Akpan
Power supply to 11 Electricity Distribution Companies, DisCos and export dropped by 29.4 percent to 24,772 megawatts, MW in the first nine months (January – September) of 2021, from 35,103MW, in the corresponding period of 2020, according to the latest report of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC.
In its latest report, Key Operational & Financial Data of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, NESI for January 2019 – September 2021, obtained by Vanguard, weekend, NERC, the industry regulator, did not state the reasons for the trend.
According to the report, the highest supply of 3,034MW was recorded in January while the least, 2,468MW was recorded in June 2021, compared to the highest and least of 3,053MW and 2,440MW recorded in December and June 2020 respectively.
But an investigation by Vanguard showed that the drop in supply has limited the capacity of the DisCos (which also encounter limited infrastructure) to deliver adequate electricity to consumers in different parts of the nation, thus affecting revenue generation.
In an interview with Vanguard, weekend, Chief Executive Officer, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, CPPE, Dr Muda Yusuf, said: “The drop in supply has further affected delivery to all classes of consumers, including industries. The government, which holds 100 percent interest in the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN and about 40 per cent interest in the DisCos should encourage massive infrastructural development in order to deliver more electricity to consumers.
“Also, some planned projects, including the $2.3 billion Presidential Power Initiative, PPI, project being executed between the Federal Government of Nigeria and Siemens Energy of Germany should be given priority, especially as it aimed at expanding distribution facilities.
“President Muhammadu Buhari had in July 2019, signed a power project deal, PPI, with the German firm Siemens AG with the aim of increasing Nigeria’s electricity generation to 25,000 megawatts, MW, in six years.
“Under the Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, signed between Nigeria and its German counterpart, the initiative was conceived to supply 7,000 megawatts, MW by December 2021, and an additional 11,000MW and 25, 000MW by 2023 and 2025, respectively.
But investigations by Vanguard indicated that the project has remained at its pre-engineering stage as stakeholders point to an undisclosed disagreement between the two parties.
Speaking on the state of the power sector at a workshop for journalists in Abuja, the Minister of Power, Engr. Abubakar D. Aliyu had observed that reform being implemented by the government would take time to achieve its objectives.
According to him, “Government is doing a lot in providing the needed infrastructure and is also being supported by multilateral partners like World Bank, AFDB, AFB and others.
“These support structures, plus the intervention fund from CBN, will go a long way in addressing some of these infrastructure gaps.
“A proper implementation of all planned and ongoing projects will increase the electricity availability and quality.
“To achieve the desired quick wins, the Government launched the Power Sector Reform Plan, PSRP, to strengthen the Regulatory Agency, NERC, among other things, a properly monitored Performance Improvement Plans, PIP, to track the progress of the Distribution Companies and a Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme, TREP, to strengthen the wheeling capacity of TCN.
“These efforts are geared towards ensuring that the yearnings and desires of Nigerians are met as regards steady and reliable power supply”, he added.