Power generation in Nigeria was yesterday grounded to zero megawatt (MW) but was later restored to 1,400 MW, New Telegraph has learnt.
Checks on the Nigeria Electricity System Operator’s website revealed that the zero megawatt generation occurred at 07:12 hours yesterday. But the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) later issued a statement confirming that the drop in generation had been restored to 1,400 MW.
Describing the 1,400 MW as low generation, the TCN noted that the country’s power generation had earlier on Monday, May 16, peaked at 2, 868:30 MW.
Maintaining that the 1,400 MW low generation figure was noticed through the electricity generation into the National Grid, the TCN said that the downward trend of electricity generation was due to constraints in the thermal power stations. The statement, which was signed by the TCN Asst. General Manager (Public Affairs), Mr. Clement Ezeolisah, stated: “The management of the System Operation/Market Operation of the TCN has alerted that electricity generation into the National Grid has dropped to 1400MW as at Tuesday, 17th May. “The downward trend of electricity generation is due to constraints in the thermal power stations, which have prevented the generators from producing at optimal levels.
“However, it is noteworthy to report that all stakeholders are working assiduously to achieve improvements in the power supply deliverables. “The attendant inconvenience as a result of low power generation is regretted.”
Meanwhile, Executive Secretary of the Association of Nigeria Electricity Distributors (ANED), Sunday Oduntan, has absolved the distribution companies of the power supply crisis rocking the country. On why there is no sufficient electricity, the DISCOs spokesperson said on the sideline of a press conference yesterday: “Gas pipeline vandalism leads to shortage of gas to power stations; shortage of gas leads to low generation; low generation and poor transmission facilities leads to low distribution. Therefore, DISCOs are not to blame for poor power supply. We cannot give what we don’t have.”
The limited power generation, Oduntan stressed, “robs customers of needed power supply and it prevents the DISCOs from collecting sufficient revenues to maintain and improve their networks.” “DISCOs collect for all stakeholders in the value chain as collection agent. But only 25 per cent of collection belongs to the DISCOs. When customers don’t pay, the whole sector is affected,” he noted. For Nigeria’s electricity to move forward, the investors said that the government should honour terms of privatisation and allow DISCOs easy access to foreign exchange. Managing Director of Ibadan DISCO, John Donnachie, said that N55 billion forex is required by distribution companies annually.
He said: “The way forward is that we need to generate more electricity; consistency in regulation making is fundamental to commercial viability of the sector. In another development, the Federal Government and France have signed a N14 billion-loan agreement for capacity building and upgrade of power training facility in Nigeria. This is contained in a statement issued yesterday by Country Director, French Development Agency (AFD), Mr. Olivier Delefosse. Delefosse said the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed during the recent visit of President François Hollande of France to Abuja to attend the Second Regional Summit.
According to him, the agreements were signed between AFD and the Ministry of Finance in the presence of Hollande and President Muhamadi Buhari. “A $46.2 million (about N13bn) subsidised loan granted by AFD to the Government of Nigeria, to enhance vocational training in the power sector, was signed. “A $100 million subsidised line of credit granted by AFD to Zenith Bank, dedicated to the financing of investments of electricity distribution companies (DISCOs), was signed.”
Delefosse also said that additional and paired financing agreements were signed by Mrs. Laurence Breton-Moyet, AFD Chief Operating Officer and a member of the AFD Executive Board. “A 350,000 euro (about N120 million) Grant Agreement was signed between AFD, Schneider Electric Nigeria and National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN),” he said. The agreement, he said, aimed at implementing a technical partnership between Schneider Electric Nigeria and NAPTIN for the development of a flexible and affordable training programme for freelance electricians.
“A 350,000 euro Grant Agreement was signed between AFD, CODIFOR (AFPI International) and the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED). Delefosse said that the agreement is aimed at implementing a technical partnership between CODIFOR and NAPTIN for the enhancement of private interest participation in the governance of the Nigerian power sector.
“A 2.3 million euro Grant Agreement was signed between AFD and ANED, funded by the African Infrastructure Trust Fund of the EU. “It is aimed at implementing a technical assistance for DISCOs, ANED and local banks in order to improve the quality of electricity distribution projects and access to finance. “This project is combined with the abovementioned Line of credit of 100 MUSD for CAPEX investment for the DISCOs,” he said.