13 March 2014, Abuja – The Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has set a target of 4,500Mega Watts (MW) by June for the Generation and Distribution companies and 6,000Mw by December this year.
The new target is a reversal of the 10,000Mw earlier set for December, this year.
Its Chairman, Dr. Sam Amadi, who spoke with the Chief Executive Officers of the Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs and the Generation Companies (GENCOs) in Abuja, said for Nigeria to accomplish the target, the sector needs to unlock more gas to power sector.
He explained that the essence of his meeting was to ensure that the government’s objective to have 4,500MW by June and a minimum of 6,000MW by December, is accomplished.
Asked whether the earlier target of 10,000MW for this year was no longer realisable, Amadi said: “The targets could be political, could be technical,” adding that when the Multy Year Tariff Order (MYTO) benchmarks a target, it is based on the feedback received from generation.
The chairman also revealed that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, had issued a circular to every government agency to pay its bills as provided for in their budgets.
He said there are debts owed by government agencies to the Discos that have lasted for years.
“In 2012, the SGF issue a circular informing these agencies to pay, because the Accountant-General of the Federation has been mandated to make deductions from their allocations if they don’t pay within three months. It is already a circular issue,” added.
He noted that the commission wrote a letter to inform President Goodluck Jonathan that the market has changed and that the private owners would not give government agencies the same privileges they enjoyed during public ownership.
Amadi added that the circular also mandated the Accountant-General of the Federation to deduct bills owed by government agencies from source.
On whether the distribution firms could disconnect defaulting agencies, Amadi, said: ”We are in a new market regime and every customer that does not pay his or her bill, will be cut off.
“If after some time they don’t pay, the regulation provides some processes for disconnecting who defaults in payments. Now if the Discos go through that process, they will be at liberty to cut off that customer. And NERC will sanction that consumer so disconnected, “ he said.
On the highlights of the meeting, he said that the meeting was to get a report on the operations of the electricity companies, especially the challenges they faced.
The chairman noted that at the meeting, some companies reported the projects they were executing to improve power supply.
– The Nation