DisCos get 3-month deadline to improve electricity supply

* NERC urges continued power supply during COVID-19 lockdown

* Sanctions await DisCos that fail to improve ─Minister
Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect
Against the backdrop of incessant, erratic power supply to homes and businesses in the country, the Federal Government of Nigeria has issued a three-month ultimatum to electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) to enhance the quality of power supply to the consumers or be sanctioned.

Engr. Saleh Mamman, Honourable Minister for Power, in a statement Wednesday, April 1, in Abuja, FCT, said before the three-month delay in the take-off of the implementation of tariff measures, the Discos should provide meters, improve power supply, and agree on reasonable tariffs for consumers.

Nevertheless, ConsumerConnect reports that the power Generation Companies (GenCos) have blamed the Federal Government for epileptic electricity supply because of its inability to guarantee adequate gas supply to generate electricity.

Engr. Mamman stated that there would be increment in tariffs when the DisCos had committed themselves to playing their roles effectively, rather than waiting for Nigerian consumers to pay more for electricity.

“Tariffs will only be raised as the Distribution Companies (DisCos) improve the quality of supply, meter consumers, and agree with consumers on rates.

DisCos that fail to improve will be sanctioned,” the Minister declared.

According to Mamman, “the ministry will work with NERC to ensure that improvements happen in the entire DisCos network and estimated billing is capped per NERC Order 197/2020.

“This will eliminate arbitrary billing that Nigerians have raised issues with.
“We are also implementing other key emergency measures to support the NESI (Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry).

“We are working with the CBN to ensure payments to the generators and gas suppliers through the Payment Assurance Facility (PAF) are expedited to support power supply.

“TCN is also creating emergency measures to ensure staff will be available to monitor the grid and perform technical interventions.

“These changes and emergency measures will have an impact on government finances. The Power Sector Recovery (PSRP) Financing Plan is being updated to reflect the changes.

“The financing plan will help support ongoing discussions with the World Bank on financial support for the sector and the transition away from tariff support as government optimises its resources.”

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has urged operators in the industry to ensure quick resolution of consumers’ complaints during the lockdown in parts of the country.

“We have been monitoring the rampaging effects of the COVID -19 pandemic in Nigeria and the world at large.

Considering the cardinal role of electric power in sustaining the wellbeing of any nation and particularly in powering critical infrastructure, the Commission is directing all operators in the electricity industry to ensure continuity of service during this difficult period.

“All operators shall continue to observe instructions and guidance issued by the Federal Government and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control towards containing the spread of COVID-19.

Prof. James Momoh, Chairman of NERC, in a statement has also directed the Nigerian Electric Supply Industry to immediately activate its Business Continuity Plan.

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