By CHIKA IZUORA, Lagos and ABAH ADAH, Abuja
…Set to offset MDA debt to Discos –
The minister of power, works and housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola has sought closer private sector collaboration especially in the distribution chain following improved electricity generation currently put at 6,000 megawatts.
Addressing the 19th power sector stakeholders meeting in Lagos yesterday, hosted by Eko Disco, the minister reminded operators that the meeting focuses on identifying, discussing, and finding practical solutions to critical issues facing the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry.
Fashola also informed them of the Payment Assurance Guarantees to the Generation companies, as well as the verification of the ministries, departments and agencies, MDA debts which have been announced in the meetings and the media, as parts of the Government’s plan to resolve liquidity challenges in the Power Sector.
He commended the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for its new MiniGrid regulation which has yielded new projects already with the commissioning of a new 20KW project in Kwali local government area, LGA in the Federal Capital Territory with a plan to power 145 households and 5 businesses by Haven Hills Synergy Limited and another one to be completed shortly in Kano State.
The Minister encouraged investors and developers to cooperate with NERC to fast track the implementation of the regulation, with the hope that the private sector increase capacity to distribute the over 6000MW currently available for distribution.
At the meeting, the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, NDPHC announced completion of Magboro connection project, and also informed of progress of projects in Ugwuaji, Egbema, Okija, Omotosho and Olorunsogo host communities with expected completion by December this year.
The NDPHC, listed vandalism as a major challenge to the progress of projects in Afam – Ikot Ekpene axis and encouraged the public to end vandalism.
In its report, the Transmission Company of Nigeria,TCN also announced the completion of rehabilitation works at Omotosho plant in line with planned reconnection of the communities, adding that the transformer replacement in Kombotso is in progress, with a view to completing at the end of December 2017.
The TCN further reported progress of projects in Alagbon, and completion of projects in Akangba (Surulere), Ajah, and Ejigbo.
In its report the NERC announced commencement of nationwide stakeholder consultation for sanctions on meter bypass regarding a potential penalty to be determined after consultation with DisCos. Other topics due for consultation include regulations on: eligible customers, metering, review of MYTO methodology, and business continuity regulation.
The meeting was informed that the MDA debts draft recommendation has been completed and will be presented by the Hon. Minister to the Federal Executive Council for approval and payment.
Meanwhile, Eko and Yola Discos recorded 100 per cent payment performance to the Market Operator for Service Providers, and the meeting was encouraged to make payment for transmission and other services provided in good time.
Eko distribution company, EKEDC informed the meeting of its progress in achieving incremental power, with the progress of several substations in Surulere, Orile, Keffi and Akoka to provide supply to its customers in Lagos State, while Benin DisCo announced connection in 16 out of 36 communities in Ondo North/Akokocommunities.
Unfortunately, transformers in 20 communities have been vandalised hindering swift resolution of issues. Due to challenges of payment for power provision, Benin DisCo noted its plans to liaise with the State Government to gain commitment of payment for services rendered.
NERC announced sector ranking of DisCos based on metering, collections, network improvement and incremental power with Eko, Yola, Jos and Abuja DisCos as the best performing in Q2. NERC also announced that Olorunsogo I and Calabar NIPP were the best performing GenCos based on availability and average load.