28 March 2016, Abuja — The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, has said it would query the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) for not submitting six months report of its performance in Nigeria’s electricity industry in 2015.
NERC said TCN failed to submit to it the mandatory operational report between January and June of 2015.
It noted that such reporting failure was unacceptable to it.
The Head, Engineering Standards and Safety Department of NERC, Mr. Abdullahi Mohammed, said during a meeting in Abuja to review agreed key performance indicators in the industry with operators that the commission was uncomfortable with TCN’s attitude to its reporting responsibility.
“I am disturbed about TCN because it is the hub. If it does not behave well, other parts suffer. They refused to submit the six months report against the provision of the Act.
“We will write them a query for that lack of compliance. They submitted two days ago but we are not accepting that,” said Mohammed.
Industry experts had overtime queried the capacity of the TCN to comfortably operate within laid down rules in the country’s privatized electricity market. Their stated discomfort with the TCN stems from its reported years of operating with disregards to rules.
Similarly, NERC stated its displeasure with the 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos) for mostly performing poorly in 2015.
NERC explained that in addition to the Discos’ poor operational performance, they equally did poorly with their data submission to it for relevant documentation.
Mohammed in this regard said there were suspected cases of the incredibility of data submitted by the operators.
He reminded them that the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, EPSRA, 2005 abhors the submission of such false information to the commission, adding that such attracts various sanctions including imprisonment.
According to him: “By the next performance review, we will get the actual culprits that are not performing accordingly.”
Accordingly, data presented by the commission indicates that the TCN, which transmits generated electricity across the country and which is also under a contract management of Canadian firm, Manitoba Hydro International did not submit its six monthly reports.
Although the report said that the TCN reduced its transmission losses to six percent in the second half of 2015, there was however a surge in the losses to about nine per cent between August and September the same year.
The year-end figure was also higher than the 8.05 percent that the Multi-Year Tariff Order, MYTO, assumed would be the case. This also shows that there is a high level of constraint in power delivery and subsequently revenue generation.
The generation companies (Gencos) on the other hand, had their electricity output go down from 70 per cent earlier in 2015 to less than 65 percent with more stranded (unused) power in the system.
According to NERC, the Discos’ performance showed that on the average they had their Aggregate Technical Commercial & Collection Losses (ATC&C) figures at 55 per cent. It, however, noted that it was unacceptable because only 17 per cent was projected as the acceptable level in the MYTO.
Also, the Discos’ customers’ metering level fluctuated from 46 percent to about 44 percent in the year, NERC said on this that it suspected wrong data submission from them.
More so, it frowned at the high electrocution rate, resulting in of 120 deaths and 117 critical injuries, saying there were up to 13 deaths in just a single community and that such development cannot attract further investment in the sector.
Other faults identified in the Discos include low compliance on report submission, poor data credibility, variations in the number of customers and the meter installation statistics.
Mohammed said: “The performance in the sector needs to be improved. It is really not impressing and we are making sure that our licensees live up to their responsibilities.”
He noted that the commission would urge the operators to validate their data before submitting it to it, as well as timely submission.
*Chineme Okafor – Thisday