NERC to sanction eight discos over abuse of metering scheme
DISSATISFIED with the level of implementation of the Credited Advance Payment for Metering Implementation (CAPMI), the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) said yesterday that it would begin sanction the eight Electricity Distribution Companies (discos) found wanting. In a statement, the NERC Head of Public Affairs,Dr. Usman Arabi, said the agency has issued the discos a seven-day ultimatum to show cause why they would not be sanctioned over non-compliance.
Listing the defaulters as Port Harcourt, Abuja, Yola, Enugu, Ibadan, Ikeja, Eko and Benin discos, the agency said its decision is based on the fact that the discos have violated the terms and conditions of their licenses.
However, the Eko Electricity Distribution Plc (EKEDP) said yesterday that it has installed 8,133 smart metres for its consumers in the past six months.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted the Assistant General Manager, EKEDP Public Affairs Division, Godwin Idemudia, as saying that the figure was from the 40,574 consumers that had applied for smart metres under the CAPMI scheme.
Meanwhile, the NERC Chairman, Dr. Sam Amadi, said the nation’s inability to reach the 6,000mw was due to gas supply constraints being faced by the generation companies (gencos) even as the TCN’s power evacuation was still having some project management problems.
Similarly, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Dr. Godknows Igali, though noting that the power supply situation has improved, assured of more stable power supply soon.
He disclosed that more projects were ongoing, especially the north-south loop, which will evacuate the stranded power, when completed, in plants under the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP).
Both spoke at the Electricity Market Summit Group (EMSG), convened yesterday in Abuja by the Chief Executive Officer of Stratex Pro, Dr. Noel Akpata.
Also at the forum, the Executive Director of the Market Operator, an arm of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Ngozi Osumor, regretted the consequences of indiscipline at the point of market and system operation.
According to her, the challenge is that some discos reject power due to inadequate infrastructure while many consumers do not pay bills.
And as the market awaits the appointment of a minister of power, a former minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, has stressed the need to set target for the sector.
Usman said at the summit that it is not normal to have the whole system coming down, adding that a performance contract could enhance transparency and accountability in the sector.
All the same, the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Lai Mohammed, says the three million jobs promised by President Muhammadu Buhari during his election campaign was possible given the improving power sector.
Speaking at the summit 2015, Mohammed said a nation of 170 million people cannot survive on less than 10,000 megawatts (mw) of electricity even if that is achieved soon.
However, he noted that Buhari’s integrity was working for the country and the party, as Nigerians have enjoy stable electricity in the past two months, “because there is less interruption from vandals.”