N112bn Unremitted by DISCOs – NERC
Power distribution companies(DISCOs) failed to remit a total of N112bn to the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company and the Market Operator of the sector in the first quarter of this year.
In the latest Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission’s ‘First Quarter 2018 Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry Performance’, the Discos were said not to have remitted N97bn and N15bn to the NBET and the MO, respectively, during the period under review.
An analysis of the report, which was obtained by our correspondent on Tuesday in Abuja, showed that out of the N137bn invoiced amount to the power firms by the NBET, the Discos only remitted N40bn, leaving a balance of N97bn.
Also, in the same quarter, the Discos remitted N11bn to the Market Operator out of the N26bn invoiced amount they got from the MO, leaving a balance of N15bn.
The document also showed that Nigeria’s power grid recorded six total collapses during the period, in contrast to just one in the preceding quarter of 2017.
On metering progress by the Discos, NERC stated that “low performance persists,” adding that there had been “market indiscipline and contract ineffectiveness.”
The commission said there was a need for increase in distribution infrastructure and called for more injection and distribution capacities.
On what could be done to help address some of the concerns in the sector, the Director, Emerald Energy Institute, University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Wumi Iledare, said the government could take another look at how the Discos were created.
He explained, “If the government that came into power puts electricity provision as its priority, then it will develop policies to actualise it. And if the policies are not accomplishing what it desires, then it has to review and amend them and pursue them.
“So, on how to move forward, why wouldn’t we just revisit the Electricity Act of 2005? Are there components of it that needs to be amended? We can even revisit the way we created the distribution companies. Are the Discos monopolies or are they not? We need to also look at the NERC and the commissioners that are there.
”He added, “It is important to state that the problem with the power sector is not technology, because this has been proved in terms of how to generate and transmit electricity.
“The problem with the power sector has to do with the concept of energy economics, which is supply and demand, investment and the policy framework to actualise the objectives of sustainable power for all.”
Iledare urged the government to channel its focus on the issues he raised in order to come up with ways to solve the daunting challenges of Nigeria’s power sector.