Lagos — The chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, Sanusi Garba, says the Federal Government and stakeholders in the power industry are intensifying efforts to address the challenges facing the sector.
Garba made this known during an interactive session with journalists after the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, NESI, meeting on Monday in Lagos.
The meeting had in attendance top officials of NERC; the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN; the power generation companies, GenCos and the distribution companies, DisCos.
He said the meeting was in line with the directive of the Minister of Power, Mr Abubakar Aliyu, for stakeholders to work together not only to restore normal supply of electricity but to improve on supply nationwide.
Garba said the issue of shortage of gas supply to power plants, collapse of the national grid, illiquidity of the industry, huge metering gap and infrastructure deficit were some of the challenges confronting the sector.
He said the plan of the government was to ensure that the thermal power plants were working optimally and that there was stability in the grid.
According to him, NERC has approved a special gas pricing for emergency contracting of gas from the Nigerian Gas Marketing Company Ltd., for the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, NPDHC, to optimise utilisation of its power plants.
According to him also, it is expected that about 800MW will be generated from the NDPHC plants.
Garba said the gas pipeline affected by acts of vandalism had been restored and the Okpai Power Plant had resumed power generation and is currently contributing an average of 300MW.
He added that the “pigging” of the pipeline supplying gas to the Odukpani Power Plant was scheduled for completion on March 21, thus ramping up generation by about 400MW.
On metering, Garba said about 900,000 prepaid meters were installed for customers under the Phase Zero of the National Mass Metering Programme, NMMP, of the Federal Government.
He said engagement was already ongoing with local meter manufacturers for the implementation of the phase one of the programme which had a target of four million meters.
Garba said the World Bank was also providing finance for another four million meters which would help the nation close the metering gap with about eight million meters in the next three years.
He added that NERC had approved a five-year Performance Improvement Plans for the DisCos which would lead to more investments in electricity distribution to end-users.
Garba explained that the minor tariff review approved for the DisCos was in line with the tariff methodology adopted by NERC for periodic adjustments of tariffs based on inflation, exchange rates and gas pricing.
Also speaking, the Managing Director, TCN, Mr Sule Abdulaziz, said the current administration had spent over N1 trillion on strengthening the transmission network.
Abdulaziz said the TCN had the capacity to wheel 8,000MW but was currently receiving 3,500MW from the GenCos.
While apologising for the recent system collapse of the national grid, he noted that grid collapse could be caused by a myriad of factors but the most important thing was the restoration period.
He noted that contrary to public perception, the collapse of the grid had reduced in the past few years.
The TCN boss recalled that the grid collapsed 12 times in 2018, nine times in 2019, four times in 2020, twice in 2021 and so far three times in 2022.
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