08 July 2014, Abuja – Power distribution and generation companies will tomorrow (Wednesday) know their fate regarding the assessment of their performance by the National Electricity Regulatory Commission.
NERC, which is the regulator of the country’s electricity market, had said it was going to commence the assessment of the power firms at the end of June.
The move, it was gathered, gained impetus following the Federal Government’s directive to the firms in January to ensure that electricity supply improved by June.
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, told our correspondent on the telephone on Monday that issues bordering on the performance assessment would be given serious consideration at a stakeholders’ meeting on Wednesday.
“For the assessment of performance of the power firms, we will be meeting on Wednesday for that,” he said.
But another source at NERC, who also confirmed the Wednesday meeting, said the issue of performance assessment would top the list of issues for discussion at the meeting.
The source, who did not want to be named because he had not been authorised to make comments on the matter, said, “I don’t see the sanctions on errant power firms coming this month. From our last meeting, there was no indication that this might happen.
“From most of our discussions, stakeholders had insisted that we show some understanding. This is because the power firms we have today do not have any precedence to measure their performance. We don’t have to force them out of the market with sanctions now. We have to be careful with the way we drive them. We don’t have to drive them so hard now.”
The source said a change of management was not enough to turn the power sector around, adding that the bulk of the prevailing issues were engineering-oriented.
“Many of these companies had borrowed money. They’ve been unable to pay up yet. The issue of metering is also there. They are, most likely, going to borrow money to address this. Inasmuch as NERC is trying to be understanding, we are not going to compromise our stand,” the source added.
Amadi had told our correspondent in a telephone interview last month that the firms must submit tripartite reports on their technical, commercial and customer care status.
“By end of June, we shall be assessing the power firms to see if they meet the set requirements and we will publish the names of the firms that are found wanting,” he had said.
He stated that although sizeable numbers of the reports were to be prepared on monthly basis, some of the firms had a quarterly timetable to prepare their reports.
– The Punch