The Ajaokuta Steel Company and other international customers owe the power sector ₦12.2b, according to the 2018 first-quarter report of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Corporation (NERC).
NERC disclosed yesterday that in the period under review, invoices issued to foreign customers (CEB/SAKETE and NIGELEC) and special customer (Ajaokuta) stood at ₦12.2b, but payments were not received from the customers.
The commission said the Federal Government has continued to engage governments of neighbouring countries to ensure payments for electricity they bought.
“Financial illiquidity remains the most significant challenge affecting the industry’s sustainability.
This liquidity challenge is partly attributed to non-cost-reflective tariffs and high technical and commercial losses aggravated by consumers’ apathy to payment arising from estimated billing and poor quality of supply in most load centres,” it said.
Out of the ₦171.1b billed customers in the first quarter of 2018, only ₦106.6b was recovered, representing 62.3 per cent collection efficiency, the report clarified.
THE SEVENTH EDITION OF POWER NIGERIA CONFERENCE SET FOR SEPTEMBER- THE GUARDIAN
The seventh edition of Power Nigeria Exhibition and Conference is set to attract all stakeholders in the power market value chain, from decision makers and business leaders to experts and trade professionals.
The stakeholders will gather to deliberate on the latest trends and progression within the country’s electricity sector. It is slated for Landmark Centre in Lagos from September 25 to 27, according to a statement by the organisers. Speaking ahead of the exhibition, Sheetij Taneja, Exhibition Manager at Informa’s Industrial Group, recognised the importance of bringing together the industry every year and the potential the power generation investments would have.
“It is this type of growth that drives our platform and allows us year after year to bring together a wide range of key stakeholders, from power manufacturers, suppliers, domestic wholesalers and distributors, to thousands of visitors from across Nigeria and neighbouring countries, all with decision-making competence,” he said.
He added, “The longevity of the event has allowed us to establish a distinct reputation with government, associations and ministries in the Nigerian power market. It also provides the perfect opportunity to attend free, educational CPD-credited sessions, improving your knowledge and skills.“We once again have three days of packed conference topics through our ever-popular Power Nigeria Agenda, giving power firms, financiers, manufacturers and solar leaders the chance to come together to discuss the nation’s electricity deficiencies and solutions. We have put a keen focus this year on renewables, solar, and how digitization of the industry is playing a big part in its evolution,” Taneja added.
ENERGY THIEVES MUST BE JAILED, GOVERNMENT URGED- THE NATION
The Federal Government should bring people who perpetrate energy crimes and related offences to book if it is really protecting the interest of consumers in the sector, the Consumer Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria President, Mrs Sola Salako-Ajulo, has said.
She urged the government to prosecute such people and jail them to serve as a deterrent to others.
Speaking during a stakeholders’ forum in Lagos, Mrs Salako-Ajulo said the inability of the government to provide mechanisms that would ensure speedy trials of energy criminals is inhibiting the growth in the energy value chain.
She said: “Until we start holding people, especially operators for their actions, theft and other untoward practices in the industry would continue. People must be made to face the consequences of their actions if electricity theft would be honestly checked in the sector. There should be penalties for offences such as meter by-passing, cable theft and others. When this happens, the vices would reduce.
She said NERC’s Board must include people who understand the industry, noting that incompetent people, when appointed to head sensitive offices in the sector perform badly.
On metering, she applauded the government for introducing Meter Asset Providers (MAPs) to solve many of the problems of production and supply of meters in the country.
Mrs Salako-Ajulo said the government would achieve its goal of reducing metering problems in the event that the meter asset providers are well monitored.
She noted that the DisCos had conducted enumeration to determine the number of people that need meters and how they would meet their needs.