The Honourable Minister for Power, Works and Housing Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), hosted the 17th monthly Power Ministry Stakeholders meeting in Abuja to discuss, evaluate and assess the developments in the sector.
It was an opportunity for key players in the power value chain, to engage policy makers on the “state of the sector”, which remains vital to the Nigerian economy with the next steps to be explored to ensure viability.
From the communiqué at the end of the meeting, here are the key developments, decisions and stated action plans that should be of interest to the public;
The meeting coincided with the commissioning of Kukuaba Transmission Station, which is aimed at improving power supply to Abuja metropolitan area as a relief to the overloaded Katampe substation. The completion of this transmission station is to ensure that the capacity of transmission infrastructure remains ahead of the nation’s generation capacity to ensure that power generated is delivered to Nigerians.
AEDC maintained its dedication to customer service by improving communications, metering and customer enumeration to ensure that its customers are well served.
The MD, AEDC reported its procurement of 120,000 new meters to ensure that customers only pay for energy consumed.
The importance of customer service was emphasized as the bedrock of the industry, and the chairman reminded the general public of the existence of customer service centres, helpdesks and phone numbers of Distribution Companies, being the first port of call for customers, followed by referral to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), if issues were not resolved.
Improvements to interface issues between the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and Distribution Companies (DisCos) were highlighted as a benefit of the monthly meetings with power sector operators, as these are vital to ensuring that power generated is delivered to customers.
The Ministry stated its conviction that a power market anchored by bilateral agreements is the way forward to achieving improved power supply. The Ministry reminded that these actions are not a threat to DisCos but are designed to strengthen the business for robust market.
NDPHC announced that the electrification of the Omotosho host community will be completed shortly. Okija community electrification is ongoing, with the procurement of distribution transformers for that community. Egbema is reported to be currently receiving power from Enugu DisCo but will expect increased supply as faults in infrastructure are being repaired. Work is also ongoing on a line to transmit power from Ihiala to Nnewi and will be completed on schedule. NDPHC however stated that electrification of Magboro community has been delayed due to vandalism of infrastructure and community engagement is in progress to resolve this challenge.
TCN stated that work on evacuation infrastructure at Omotosho I plant at Ikeja West is significantly progressed and is undergoing further testing.
In addition to Ibaramu, Ikaram/Egedegede, Ikakumo, Auga, Ise communities who were reconnected last month by Benin Electricity Distribution Company, restoration has continued as planned in the following communities: OkeAgbe, Akunnu, Ajowa, Ogbagi, and Arigidi. Connection to Oka community will be completed by the end of the week.
Eko Electricity Distribution Company stated that challenges with Ajijedun/Abiola Landlord Association are in process of being resolved.
Payments of N701bn payment assurance to Generating Companies for January are complete while February is in progress to ensure generation companies remain functional.
Jos Electricity Distribution Company announced that its collaboration with the Department of State Services (DSS) and other security agencies in rooting out electricity theft in Plateau State has been successful, as several high-profile customers committing energy theft, including corporate organisations and individuals have been identified and punished according to the regulatory allowances. JED PLC plans to expand this initiative to reduce energy theft to other states.
The Market Operator lauded Eko DisCo for making full payments for services provided and Yola DisCo for making 91% payments. No other DisCo made payments up to 50% and NERC has commenced enforcement procedures for non-payment in the sector.