Electricity tariffs, MDA debts top Fashola’s closed-door meeting with stakeholders

01 December 2015, Lagos – There are indications that parts of what were discussed at a closed door meeting between the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola and stakeholders in Nigeria’s power sector yesterday in Abuja included the implementation of new electricity tariff drawn up by the electricity distribution companies (Discos) under the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO.2.1) of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and complaints of regulatory uncertainty which the Discos had raised.

Power distribution transformer.

Power distribution transformer.

Although no official position was given by the Ministry of Power on the outcome of the meeting, a Disco source who preferred to speak to THISDAY anonymously stated that it was a ‘happy meeting’.

He said other issues that affect the operations of the sector were discussed, adding that debts owed the Discos by government’s ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) were also touched as it affects the revenue bottom line of Discos and the sector generally.

The closed-door meeting which was convened by Fashola was at the ministry. It had in attendance all the heads of the 11 Discos; heads of the generation companies (Gencos); the regulator, NERC; Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), amongst others.

Fashola, it was learnt tasked the operators to improve their service deliveries to the sector especially as the sector hopes to end the year with a 5,000 megawatts (MW) generation level.

The Disco source noted that crucial issues like the tariff implementation and NERC’s recent freeze of collection losses from the tariff of Discos needed to be discussed, as well as the intervention fund provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to help the sector overcome its cash crunch.

Fashola who has rather worked silently since assuming office, had recently said in a keynote address that was delivered own his behalf last week at a stakeholders’ forum in Abuja that the government was going to clampdown on frequent electricity accidents in the power sector.

He had noted that government will no longer condone the frequent incidences of electrocution and system collapses arising from the use of substandard materials and equipment in the power industry, and thus appealed to the Discos and Gencos to improve their efforts at providing efficient electricity to their customers.

– This Day

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