Fashola asks Discos to embark on more aggressive metering

10 February 2016, Abuja – The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), tuesday chaired the second monthly meeting of operators in the power sector in Lagos with the electricity distribution companies, promising more aggressive commitment to metering.

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Fashola

The operators were fully represented at the highest executive management levels at the meeting, including Managing Directors and CEOs of Generating Companies (GenCos), Distribution Companies (DisCos), and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), as well as various government agencies such as the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET), the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) responsible for the regulation and development of the electricity industry.

The oil and gas industry was also fully represented by senior executives of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), Gas Aggregating Company of Nigeria (GACN) and the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) with the aim of intensifying efforts to resolve bottlenecks associated with gas supply to the power sector.

At the meeting of operators in the electricity industry convened in furtherance of  the commitment of the minister  to adopt a hand-on approach in identifying, discussing and finding practical solutions to challenges confronting  the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, a number of  issues were discussed .In a communiqué after the meeting which took place at the Alagbon Transmission and Distribution Complex of the Eko Electricity Distribution Company in Ikoyi, all the Discos also agreed to improve customer service delivery by strengthening the operations of their customer centres and providing dedicated phone numbers to ensure consumer complaints within their jurisdictions are promptly responded to.

Sympathising with the Anekwe family whose daughters were victims of electrocution, the stakeholders however acknowledged the responsiveness of the Eko Disco for paying compensation to the family through the company’s insurance company.

At the meeting, the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) emphasised the need to improve safety standards by Discos and their contractors in order to reduce accidents and death. NEMSA also underscored the health and safety issues of the sector and the need for improvement in responsiveness to such issues. It was also agreed that NEMSA would start ranking Discos for safety compliance and accident reduction, as well as applying sanctions for non-compliance.

The AES Power Plant, Egbin Power Plant and the NNPC who were represented at the highest levels, agreed to meet on  February 11 to complete the ongoing negotiations with a view to  supplying gas to AES power plant.

Addressing interface issues while submitting and discussing on-going plans to review and resolve the issues, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) also identified 51 issues to be resolved affecting supply in areas like Alaoji, Sokoto, Ahoada, Damaturu, Gbarain, Calabar, Afikpo, Nsukka, Okigwe, Ihiala, Ayede, Ikeja, Ajah, Lekki, Kebbi, Jos, Kaduna, Kano, Makurdi, Kainji, Kafanchan, Otukpo, Hadejia, Wudil, Kumbotso, Bauchi, Gombe, Katsina, Daura, Abuja and Maiduguri.

On its part, the NNPC presented their plans, which are expected to add significant gas supplies for power generation. The sector expects an addition of 220mmsfcd by the end of Q1 of 2016, and 785 mmsfcd by the end of Q2 of 2016 cumulative.

The Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET) presented a solution for power sector liquidity issues which involved the development of a Power Sector Liquidity Bond to cover validated present and future liquidity gap until 2018 and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is committed to immediate resumption of disbursement of the balance of the N213 billion facility previously approved but suspended.
The regulator approved the power purchase between Paras Power and Eko Disco for embedded generation supply to willing customers, effective from  February 12, 2016.

Meanwhile, as part of the efforts by the various stakeholders in the electricity value chain to plug revenue leakages and eliminate estimated billing of consumers, Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) yesterday  began the installation of the first batch of 12,000 Smart Prepaid Meters to replace the ordinary prepaid meters and other obsolete meters, which are prone to energy theft and bypass.

Speaking at the Ijora Business District of EKEDC in Lagos when he unveiled the meters, the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Oladele Amoda, said the move was to ensure that all the customers under the company’s network are provided with meters in less than the five-year period his company signed with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) under the privatisation agreement.

Amoda said the installation of Maximum Demand Meters for the company’s maximum demand customers would be completed this year.

He said his company resorted to the installation of smart meters to curb meter bypass and energy theft that are associated with the ordinary prepaid meters.

According to him, the smart meters were procured from Microstar Electric Company Limited of China and its Nigerian partner, Mojec International.
“Right now, the old prepaid meters are prone to energy theft and bypass. That is why we are going into this smart metering. It is a new technology and with it, you need less labour.

We can sit in our office and see what is going on in the field. That is why we have decided to use smart metering   because of it will reduce energy theft. When we reduce energy theft, the money we gain from there can be used for reinforcement of our network, rehabilitation and all that,” he explained.

In a presentation to demonstrate the operation of the meters, Mojec International’s Research and Development Manager, Mr. Wole Solanke said the new technology would enable Eko Disco to disconnect customers that tamper with their meters without going to the customers’ premises.

“We can connect and disconnect our customers from our office. That means that if we feel that the customer is tampering, we can analyse the consumption pattern of the customers and disconnect the customer from our office. We can also read what the consumer has consumed and what is left from our office,” Solanke said.

In a communiqué issued on Tuesday after Monday’s second monthly meeting of Fashola with operators of the power sector, held at Alagbon Transmission and Distribution Complex in Ikoyi, Lagos

The affected areas include Alaoji, Sokoto, Ahoada, Damaturu, Gbarain, Calabar, Afikpo, Nsukka, Okigwe, Ihiala, Ayede, Ikeja, Ajah, Lekki, Kebbi, Jos, Kaduna, Kano, Makurdi, Kainji, Kafanchan, Otukpo, Hadejia, Wudil, Kumbotso, Bauchi, Gombe, Katsina, Daura, Abuja and Maiduguri.

The communiqué did not provide details on the issues but noted that TCN had addressed interface issues submitted by the operators and discussed ongoing plans to review and resolve the 51 issues.

According to the communiqué, all the Distribution Companies (DisCos) agreed to improve customer service delivery by strengthening the operations of their customer centres and providing dedicated phone numbers to ensure consumer complaints within their jurisdictions are promptly responded to.

– This Day
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