At a time when the Nation decries insufficient power supply, Nigeria’s electricity generation takes a downward plunge as it dropped to 2,648 megawatts on Monday. This was due to a decline in output from the hydropower plants and some gas-fired stations, including Egbin in Lagos. The nation generates most of its electricity from gas-fired power plants, while outputs from hydropower plants make up to 30 percent of power generation.
According to reports from the Ministry of Power. Works and Housing, the total generation capacity of 4,463.3MW was unavailable as of 6 am on Monday, compared to 3,631.4MW on Friday. Total electricity generation, which stood at 3,463MW as of 6 am on Sunday, fell to 2,684.20MW on Monday. As of Friday, August 10, generation from Kainji, Jebba, and Shiroro hydro plants dropped to 203MW, 133MW and 162MW respectively.
DEBT, REASON FOR EPILEPTIC POWER SUPPLY IN NIGERIA.
The privatization of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) successor companies was based on the Government’s acknowledgement of a significant truth, amongst others – that the only way to attract investment and increase in power supply in a sector that was moribund and laden with inefficiencies, was to remove the commercial risk of non-payment of power invoices to the power developers, by guaranteeing payment for the delivery of energy by Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) based on a tariff structure that covers the cost of all the stakeholders along the value chain. However, five years after the privatization of Nigerian power, the sector is still challenged by huge debts.
Sunday Odutan, the Executive Director ANED, while speaking to newsmen said: “privatization was expected to serve as a catalyst that would drive both an increase in energy and create a commercial framework that allows the parties to recover their cost of doing business.” This would have led to an evolution of the power sector into a contract-driven market, in which the DisCos are able to buy energy directly from GenCo, thus creating the desired outcome for all the operators in the sector. Interestingly, the Power Sector Recovery Program (PSRP), the government’s roadmap to resetting the sector, recognizes the fundamental truth that cost recovery is key to solving market problems, this being at variance with the minister’s various contrary assertions.
UNION RESTRAINED BY COURT FROM PICKETING IKEJA ELECTRIC OFFICE.
The National Union of Electricity Employees has been restrained from further picketing of the offices of Ikeja Electric Plc by the National Industrial Court, Lagos Division. The Union members, it was learned, were protesting against the sacking of about 40 of their colleagues by the Ikeja Electric Plc. The Union members who shut down operations at the headquarters of the Ikeja Electric Plc in Alausa, stopped the company’s officials as well as customers from accessing the offices. They cited “random dismissal of workers without consultation with the Union, poor welfare, uneven salary structure, adoption of anti-labor policies, and non-implementation of service conditions,” as part of the reasons for their industrial action.
However, the Justice E.A. Oji led National industrial court, in a ruling on Thursday, August 9, 2018, restrained the protesting Unionists from further picketing of the electricity company’s offices. He made the order following an ex parte application taken before him by the Ikeja Electric Plc. The judge, after listening to the argument by IE’s lawyer, Mr. Bimbo Atilola, ordered that “the defendant, either itself or through its agents, servants or privies, is restrained from further picketing, embarking on strikes or any form of industrial actions to disrupt the operation of Ikeja electric Plc. After making the order, the judge adjourned till August 16, 2018, for further proceedings in the case.
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WELCOMES MORE PRIVATE INVESTORS TO THE POWER SECTOR.
The Minister of Power, Woks, and Housing, while speaking at the August 2018 edition of the monthly power sector operators meeting in Mina, said Twenty-six industrial electricity customers have signed up to be supplied directly from power generation companies (GenCos) instead of from distribution companies (DisCos). Under the eligible consumers’ scheme approved by the federal government in 2017, five industrial consumers were already benefiting from the scheme and the Federal Government has also completed arrangements to handing over 6 hydro dams to private operators under a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) scheme, he revealed.
Fashola further explained that the eligible customer policy has started yielding fruits as Mainstream Energy Limited, an electricity distribution company has signed on five industrial customers. He said, “We proposed to use six hydro dams that had been abandoned for decades to power Federal Government owned universities and some markets as anchors. Apart from the universities, where the government is directly funding the intervention, the markets are being privately funded.”