Engr. Mamman Sale, Honourable Minister for Power

DisCos tackle Minister over electricity supply claims in Nigeria

* TCN incapable of transmitting 7,000MW ─ANED

* We’ve not received a dime as subsidy from FGN till date

* MDAs still owe us N100billion

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Association of Nigeria Electricity Distributors (ANED) has dismissed the claim by Engr. Mamman Sale, Honourable Minister for Power, that  electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) evacuate only 3,000Megawatts (MW) out of the 7,000MW wheeled by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) as plain untrue.

ANED, which is the umbrella body of the DisCos in the country, said the TCN wheels a mere 4,303MW supplied to consumers.

The Minister for Power recently had blamed the incessant power blackouts and attendant socio-economic damage on the electricity consumers and businesses on the DisCos.

After a Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa, in Abuja, Engr. Sale had told reporters that “Nigeria currently generates 13,000 MW of electricity.

“It transmits 7,000MW to DisCos while the distribution companies can only distribute 3,000 megawatts to end users.”

However, ANED, in absolving its DisCo members of blame in the worsening power supply in the country, stated that the quantum of power that DisCos supply to their customers is based on the allocation they get from the TCN.

In a statement, the Association reiterated that its members have not received a dime from the Federal Government as subsidy.

The DisCos reminded the government that even though DisCos’ liabilities to NESI total N81billion, Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) yet owe them to the tune of N100bn.

ANED has also referred the Minister to a review of the daily power report published by TCN’s National Control Centre (NCC), Osogbo, Osun State capital.

The document shows that Sale’s claim on current wheeled megawatts of electricity was false, the Association insisted.

The report, according to ANED, clearly  indicates that the peak generation ever recorded in Nigeria is 5,375 MW, of which only 4,303 MW of energy are wheeled or transmitted by the TCN to its members.

It said that a further review, historically, shows that TCN has never wheeled or transmitted energy above 4,557 MW nor matched its transmission to any of the generation peaks to date.

“As such, references to TCN’s ability to transmitting ‘…7,000 to DisCos…’ is inaccurate and misleading.

“TCN’s attestation of a transmission capacity of 8,100 MW is based on nothing more than a computer simulation and not tested, proven or practical capacity,” ANED said.

It further stated that the recent Siemens “Electrification Roadmap for Nigeria” report, May 7, 2019, states: ‘Today, power distribution by the DisCos to end-customers is limited by power in-feed from TCN.”’

Same report, according to ANED, as well stated that the capacity of the “last mile (DisCos capacity) … is about twice as high as the peak supply delivered by the TCN to the respective distribution utilities (where the peak was 5.2 GW across all Nigeria in 2018).”

It said that a System Adequacy report authored by TCN’s Market Operator (July 2017), states that “transmission constraints frequently limited the power flows in the network.”

The ANED statement also made reference to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) December 2019 TCN Minor Review Order which states inter alia:  “… whereas the CAPEX provided to TCN in MYTO-2015 Order was to support the evacuation of the average projected generation of 5,465MW in 2016 to 10,493MW in 2019, actual average generation remained between 3,500MW to 4,oooMW during the same period.”

“Maximum Available Capacity to Date for generation, indicated in the NCC report on the date (February 20, 2020) of the Honourable Minister’s comments was 7,652.2 MW,  thus raising a question as to the basis for the Minister’s reference to 13,000MW of generation.

“Indeed, of the available generation capacity, 1,500MW continues to be constrained by lack of gas, given that twenty-five (25) out of 28 generating plants are thermal plants that are fuelled by gas.  Grid and hydro issues provide additional constraints to generation availability.

“In simple terms, the DisCos can only deliver the energy that is transmitted or wheeled to them by TCN, based on the amount generated.

“Of greater importance is the need, at a minimum, for a realignment of gas, generation, transmission and distribution capacities that will provide the country with a level of consistent power supply.

“Any unsupported or inaccurate information amounts to deviation from this minimum and needless distraction from issues of sectoral urgency.

“That is what we are saying.  Government cannot continue to subsidise because what they are doing is that they collect 3,000MW and pay for only 1,000MW. That is 15 per cent of what they are collecting. So, government is the one completing the payment,” ANED statement added.

The association also disclosed that its members have till date not received a kobo from the Federal Government as subsidy.

“To date, the DisCos have not received any subsidy from the Federal Government.  References to the N1.7 trillion in subsidies paid by the government are associated with payments that have been made to the generating and gas supply companies, under the Payment Assurance Guarantees (PAG) initiative and the Nigerian Electricity Market Stabilisation Fund (NEMSF), it said.

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