The federal government yesterday lamented the slow progress made in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) as improvements made since the enactment of the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act (EPSR) in 2005 and the Road Map for the Power Sector in 2010, were being undermined by issues like gas constraint, Right of Way, vandalism, non-cost reflective tariff among others.
Speaking at the opening of the fifth edition of the National Council on Power (NACOP) in Abuja, permanent secretary, Ministry of Power, Fashedemi Temitope, said the challenges have led to liquidity in NESI and subsequently inadequate power to meet demand.
He stated that NACOP was to this end, organised to stimulate the interest of stakeholders at all levels of government and private organisations in the Power Sector.
According to him, the fifth NACOP, which has as the theme, ‘Sustaining and Improving Electricity Supply through the Power Sector Value Chain for Socioeconomic Growth’ will help generate and articulate ideas towards the development of the industry with a view to formulating sustainable policies and initiatives for improved service delivery in the NESI.
He explained that the Council is expected to design an action log to track the implementation of the decisions and directives at the meeting and ensure policy initiatives that that will make available sustainable power supply within the shortest possible time.
“It should also fast track government’s effort in diversifying the energy mix, promote renewable energy sources from solar, wind, biomass, hydros and coal to power, increase electricity access to unserved and underserved pre-urban, rural areas or areas with difficult terrains as well as strengthen the existing partnership in the sector,” he said.
Also, he said given Nigeria’s enormous energy resources, creating an enabling environment is a critical component in the realisation of the 30:30:30 target which seeks to make available 30GW of electricity by year 2030 with 30 per cent of the energy mix coming from renewable energy sources.
Also speaking, managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) of TCN, Engineer Sule Ahmed Abdulaziz said that TCN has made significant improvements in the grid, through its Nigeria Electricity Grid Maintenance, Expansion, and Rehabilitation Programme (NEGMERP).
Under the NEGMERP, he stated, new substations such as 2x60MVA, 132/33KV substations at Gagarawa, Wudil, Ukpilla, Daura, Awka, and Bichi Mobile Station were all completed.
“A lot of old substations have been reinforced with new transformers and associated switchgear, the recent ones being the installation of 60 MVA in Itire (Lagos State) and 150 MWA in Aiyede (Oyo State November 2022). Old transmission lines are also being reconductored. I would like to mention, in particular, the Abuja Ring Fence Project which is at the advanced stage of completion. The project is bringing in five new substations (one fully completed at Dawaki) to the city of Abuja and creating the third 330kV infeed to the city via the Lafia 330kV station in Nassarawa. The project also consists of new lines to connect the new stations to themselves and existing stations in the Abuja Metropolitan area. These will ensure that the capital city has adequate redundancies in supply sources and sufficient transmission delivery capacity for the next 30 years” he explained, insisting that TCN has also made remarkable progress in transmission lines maintenance and vegetation under the lines are being cleared constantly to prevent unnecessary faults caused by vegetation. This, the MD, explained, has helped in reducing downtime.
“Recently, TCN took delivery of twenty-two brand new power transformers; spare parts and other critical equipment which were delivered to TCN Central Store in Ojo, Lagos State. The stockpile of equipment in the store is the highest of such in the history of TCN,” Abdulaziz said.
In his presentation, general manager, Market Competitions and Rate, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Shafudeen Mahmood, explained that it took over five electricity distribution companies so as to stabilise the power sector and make the industry market more functional.
Mahmoud said that the DisCos which were taken over could not meet the required conditions set to activate the market.
The distribution companies include Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC), Kano Distribution Company (KEDC), Benin Distribution Company (BEDC) and Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company.
The commission stated that the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) had had its fair share of challenges.
For instance, in 2016, it recorded 22 system collapses. In 2021 it recorded two total grid collapses and in 2022 it recorded four total grid collapses and two partial collapses.
Besides, it lacks functional grid management and it has a fragile grid network and always has delay in project execution.