- Posted by Kieth Oliver
- On February 11, 2016
- 0 Comments
Fashola said this during his second monthly meeting with operators in the electricity industry in Lagos. He said: “I will come to energy policy, much more later when I do my second press briefing. All of you in the media owe a bigger responsibility now to enlighten people. Everybody must know how power is produced, because the problem is still with us, gas, transmission, and the way the privatisation exercise was conducted. But I will not lament what has happened in the past, I will move with it.”
He continued: “When we took over and assessed the situation, nobody was happy with it. This is a problem that has been here for 16 years if you it put mildly, and 100 years ago, if you put it really extremely. I have been here for less than hundred days, and I think we can solve this problem if you give us the tools that we need to do it. I think this problem can be solved and the day I feel it cannot be solved, I will tell you I don’t think it will work.”
The minister said he reached an agreement with the DisCos to improve customer service delivery by strengthening the operations of their customer centres and providing dedicated phone numbers to ensure consumer complaints within their jurisdictions are promptly responded to.
The meeting, which holds every month, is meant to identify, discuss and find practical solutions to issues facing the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry. The Minister has set a goal of attaining at least 7,000megawatts (Mw) of electricity generation by end of this year. Although he has refused to make how to go about it public, but he has discussed with the operators.
Also at the stakeholders’ meeting, AES Power Plant, Egbin Power Plant and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), agreed to meet today to complete the ongoing negotiations with a view to supplying gas to AES power plant.
The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) addressed some interface issues, discussed ongoing plans to review and resolve them. The firm identified 51 of them to be resolved, which affect supply in areas such as Alaoji, Sokoto, Ahoada, Damaturu, Gbarain, Calabar, Afikpo, Nsukka, Okigwe, Ihiala, Ayede, Ikeja, Ajah, Lekki, Kebbi, Jos, Kaduna, Kano, Makurdi, Kainji, Kafanchan, Otukpo, Hadejia, Wudil, Kumbotso, Bauchi, Gombe, Katsina, Daura, Abuja and Maiduguri.
The NNPC also presented its plans of adding significant gas supplies for power generation. The operators said the power sector expects an addition of 220 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscf/d) by the end of first quarter of 2016, and 785 mmscf/d by the end of second quarter of 2016 cumulative.
To solve the power sector liquidity issues, the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET) said there is need to develop a Power Sector Liquidity Bond to cover validated present and future liquidity gap until 2018 and the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) committed to immediate resumption of disbursement of the balance of the N213 billion facility previously approved but suspended
The Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) also emphasised the need to improve safety standards by DisCos and their contractors in order to reduce accidents and death. NEMSA underscored the health and safety issues of the sector and the need for improvement in responsiveness to health and safety issues. The operators agreed that NEMSA shall start to rank DisCos for safety compliance and accident reduction, as well as applying sanctions for non-compliance. It cited the case of the electrocuted University of Lagos student.
On metering, the minister gave targets to the DisCos. Eko DisCo was mandated to install 90,000 by end of June and 150, 000 by December, while Ikeja DisCo is 120,000 and 220,000 within the same timeframe.
Others are Kano DisCo 40,000 and 100,000; Yola DisCo 30,000 and 75,000; Jos DisCo 45,000 and 120,000; Benin DisCo 18,000 and 36,000 having 200,000 cleared with Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), and Port Harcourt DisCo 75,000 and 150,000, all within the same timeframe.
NEMSA said it is also ready to test and certify over 70,000 additional meters that the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) is planning to install for customers.