NERC laments poor electricity distribution facilities

*Sam-Amadi, NERC.

*Sam-Amadi, NERC.

*Says 6000Mw generation target may be scuttled

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

30 September 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, has lamented that poor electricity distribution facilities across the country may scuttle its plans to increase on-grid electricity generation to 6,000 megawatts by the end of 2015.

Chairman of NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi noted in Abuja that the pessimism of the agency stemmed from the preliminary works of the committee he set up some weeks back to help reclaim and transmit stranded electricity generation capacities into the national grid.

Amadi observed that the preliminary report of the technical committee recently set up to drive the realisation of the target indicated that the extent of infrastructure deterioration in the distribution network might have been underestimated.

He explained that the market still experiences huge load rejection and shedding as a result of the development, adding that new measures would have to be devised to overcome such massive distribution infrastructure decline.

When asked about the feasibility of the December 6,000MW generation and distribution target, Amadi said: “It is feasible depending on how quickly we can turn around the network of the distribution and transmission company.”

“I am worried about getting this milestone because of the preliminary report I have got from the committee. The deterioration of the Discos network is worse than we think.”

He added that, “There is still massive load rejection even as we have solved the imbalance energy problem. So, it means that there is something else. That something else is getting our attention.

“Maybe we get to succeed in this target. Don’t forget that this is my own ambitious target not a target set in MYTO for the market. Why am I setting this target? I will like us to crown the tenure on a high. We all like to succeed. It is miserable that we have for 16 years set a target of 6,000MW and never got it. I will be sad if we miss it. I will be very happy to have the Commission finish its first tenure on 6,000MW. It is like breaking the jinx so that we can aim at 10,000 and 20,000MW.

“If we don’t get to 6,000MW under Buhari’s new paradigm of discipline and anti-corruption then how can we be sure of getting 10,000MW soon? We have to work hard,” Amadi explained.

The transmission network with its poor infrastructure had often been identified as the weakest link in the country’s electricity network.

However, NERC’s identification of the distribution weakness confirmed the slow pace of investments to upgrade the distribution network by operators.

Reports also revealed that the impact of the apparent slow pace investment on the distribution network is further compounded by the reluctance of some Distribution Companies (Discos) to take over the distribution assets built by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) Plc under the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs).

About the Author