*Fashola urges Discos to provide meters
15 March 2016, Lagos — Electricity consumers in the country may not be smiling yet as generation yesterday hit 4,068 megawatts still assessed as abysmally low.
Though consumers were expected to be experiencing some respite from the recent days of darkness the transmission line that tripped from Egbin Power Station yesterday may have further dampened rising hopes.
This comes on the heels of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) confirmation that about 21 power plants were presently operation across the country while some units are facing a setback due to transmission, water management, and rainfall challenges.
Meanwhile, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) has charged electricity distribution companies (DisCos) to ensure the provision of meters and end the frustration of customers waiting for the never coming meters.
At the third monthly meeting with operators of the power sector, yesterday at the Ugwuaji Transmission Station, Enugu Fashola said: “The Federal Government would no longer condone a situation where people pay for meters and fail to access them within a reasonable time-frame.”
The Public Relation Officer of Transmission Company of Nigeria, Lagos Region, Mrs Celestina Osin, who confirmed the faults on the Egbin bound transmission line yesterday said the blackout experienced in Lekki, Ajah axis since Sunday, March 13th was a result of a detachment on the sky wire of the Egbin-Ajah 330KV Transmission Line three which feeds the area.
She said the maintenance engineers are already at work to rectify the fault as quickly as possible, with the aim of getting customers back to the system.
The Head of Corporate Communications, Eko Electricity Distribution Company, Godwin Idemudia, said the line trip had made it impossible for customers being serviced from Ajah, Lekki and Alagbon transmission injection sub-stations to receive power supply.
Areas listed to have been affected by the outage include Lagos Island, Ikoyi, Victoria Island Lekki, Ajah, Ibeju and their environs.
Idemudia then appealed to customers to please bear with the company adding that supply to all affected areas would be restored as soon as the fault is cleared.
The Eko Disco spokesman also assured that the company’s distribution facilities are in good shape for effective evacuation of power to customers as soon as the line fault between generation and transmission stations is fixed.
The national statistics on generation profile showed that unutilised generation capacity from the power stations hit 3,231.6MW as at Sunday 13th while the nation was losing 1827.5MW to gas constraints; 409.6MW lost to transmission line constraints; 85MW lost to water management issues, and 909.5MW was lost to high frequency occasioned by heavy rainfall.
The minister, who chaired the meeting raised hopes that the present challenges militating against the supply of electricity in the country would be surmounted only if Nigerians understood how the system operates.
At the end of the meeting, he told journalists they “addressed the problems of gas, financial stability, volatility of foreign exchange in sectors as to how that affects the ability of the power plants, the GenCos, the DisCos to implement their technical service agreement with their foreign partners. It also addressed the difficulty of pricing local gas consumption in dollars instead of naira.”
On the problem of CAPMI metering system, he said: “We resolved that people cannot take money from consumers without supplying what was paid for. From the reports given to us by the DisCos, many of them claimed that they have largely supplied the meters that people paid in advance for.
“I made it clear to them that a situation where people pay for meters and they are not supplied, undermines trust. We have given them marching orders to wind down all the outstanding credit meters program that they have collected money from people and haven’t supplied.”