Tackling Solar Power In Nigeria’s Rural Communities – Leadership

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The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) in partnership with the World Bank recently embarked on a sensitisation tour of 67 communities selected in 4 states of the federation, including Sokoto, prior to the flag-off of its Solar Hybrid Mini-Grids pilot projects in those states. ABAH ADAH reports on the exercise in Sokoto State. The reality about the Nigerian power sector is that it has struggled for so long to ensure quality and uninterrupted electricity supply for her citizens but to no avail as the various targets set were never even nearly met, leaving it at about 3,000 to 3,500MW annual average as the highest it could afford to supply from independence to date when the population is running into 200 million from the average of about 45 million that it was at independence.

It has been established that a vast population of Nigeria, about 70 per cent are rural dwellers and that a paltry 26 per cent of them may have had access to electricity. This means Nigeria still has a long way to go in terms of access to and supply of electricity. Deriving from the Goal of the federal government to increase access to electricity to 75 per cent and 90 per cent by 2020 and 2030 respectively and at least 10 per cent of the renewable energy mix by 2025 as contained in the National Electric Power Policy (NEPP) of 2001 and the Rural Electrification Policy of 2005 respectively, the primary objective of the Nigerian Rural Electrification Policy and by extension the Rural Electrification Strategy and Implementation Plan is to expand access to electricity as rapidly as possible in a cost-effective manner.

Power: Consumers’ debt hits N62.2bn in three months, says NERC – Punch

The indebtedness of power consumers to electricity distribution companies hit N62.2bn within a space of three months, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has said. The debt was recorded in the second quarter of last year. According to NERC in its latest report on the commercial performance of the power sector, electricity users paid N111.5bn out of the total of N173.7bn that was given to them as a bill by the 11 power distribution companies operating in Nigeria. The commission said the indebtedness, which was recorded in the second quarter of 2018, was contributory to the financial illiquidity in the power sector, adding that the liquidity crisis in the sector had remained one of the major challenges in the industry.

NERC said, “Financial illiquidity remains one of the most significant challenges threatening the sustainability of the power industry. The liquidity challenge is partly attributed to the non-implementation of cost-reflective tariffs, high technical and commercial losses exacerbated by energy theft, and consumers’ apathy to payments under the widely prevailing practice of estimated billing. “The total billing to electricity consumers by the 11 Discos was N173.7bn in the second quarter of 2018 but only a sum of N111.5bn was the aggregate collection representing 64.2 per cent collection efficiency.

“The collection efficiency indices indicate that a sum of N3.58 out of every N10 worth of electricity sold during the second quarter remains uncollected, as and when due. The liquidity challenge in NESI (Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry) was further reflected in the Discos’ remittances to NBET (Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading) and MO (Market Operator) relative to associated energy invoices.”

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