Fidelity bank banner Atiku Obi Campaign banner Okowa 2019 gubernatorial campaign Camano banner
Discos: Orders to NERC Will not correct imminent collapse of power sector

By Chineme Okafor, Abuja on 18/07/2018

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+

Views: 643

•Sunday Oduntan
•Sunday Oduntan

The 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos) in Nigeria’s electricity market on Tuesday took a swipe at the federal government for recently asking them to either upgrade their efficiency levels in the market or quit the stage.

The Discos, in an interaction with journalists in Abuja, faulted the government’s order to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) through the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, to get them to buckle down or shape up, adding that no amount of government’s order can correct the failings of the sector which they added would lead to its collapse.

Speaking through the Executive Director, Research and Advocacy of their umbrella association — the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) — Mr. Sunday Oduntan, the Discos explained that the government has largely created more confusion in the operations of the country’s electricity sector than it had helped it.

They suggested the government has also been economical with its claims of improvement in power generation in the country, adding that the generation capacity as at January 2015 was at 6,421 megawatts (MW) and not 4,000MW as often claimed by the government.

“It is with much regret that we feel compelled to respond to the significantly distorted picture that has been painted of the Discos by the Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing (MoPWH) in his press briefing on Monday, July 9th, 2018.

“In good faith and with recognition that the challenges of the Nigerian Electricity Industry (NESI) cannot be turned around based on a culture of misrepresentation, we have declined to rebut previous inaccurate assertions by the minister and other government functionaries. In this instance, it is clear that the objective of that briefing was to demonise the Discos, who by the structure of NESI, are the faces of a difficult sector,” said Oduntan.

He further said: “We are also left wondering whether such demonisation of the Discos is camouflage for the absence of the effective policy leadership that is desired for implementing the enabling environment that is necessary for the viability and sustainability of NESI?

“We recognise that we are on the crux of a political season, in which all manner of advantage is being sought by political contenders, we, however, do not want to be used as the whipping dog to advance other people’s agenda.”

According to him, “Our members, the Discos, are not politicians, even though they distribute a product that is of great importance to politicians, in view of the needs of their constituents. Our constituency which consists of customers, employees, bankers, vendors and investors have a greater interest in improved service delivery than the adoption of cheap theatrics and propaganda for political advantage.”

He noted that the Discos were committed to their obligations, as well as meeting the performance obligations of the agreement that they have with the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE).

He also stated that the Ministry of Power has taken away the independence of the NERC by constantly imposing on its orders to execute in the sector.

He said: “Unfortunately, the minister’s expression of his interest in promoting national interest has resulted in his ministry’s consistent promotion of policy initiatives that have resulted in sector-wide confusion and that infringe on the roles and responsibilities of the various sector players; the imposition of the ministry’s agenda on the regulator, compromising its independence; the seemingly lack of respect for contract; and the self-serving distortion redefinition of the law that is the bedrock of the privatisation and reform.

“When the minister refers to the passage of five years of privatisation and businesses still do not have power, we do have to ask, ‘Did the government meet all of its obligations that were pre-conditions to the Discos’ ability to implement the requirements of their performance agreements’?”

Oduntan stated that Fashola was going outside of the specifications of National Electric Power Policy (NEPP) and the general policy role stipulated under Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA) to now issue directives to NERC.

He added that in this regards: “We now have a regulator whose independence has been compromised and that has, essentially, become the minister’s enforcer, a bastardisation of the role specified by its enabling act.”

“How can this increased regulatory risk foster the enabling environment that is required for the attraction of the investment that is needed for the magnitude and long-term nature of power sector infrastructure?

“We would suggest that, as long as the minister continues to play politics with the power sector; as long as the minister continues to refuse to recognise the independence of the regulator – in spite of the frequency of ministerial assurances stating otherwise, assurances that are contradicted and belied by his actions; as long as the minister continues to fail to recognise the change of role for the ministry, from that of operating a utility to that of general policy formulation, under the reform; as long as the objectives of NEPP and the requirements of EPSRA continue to be ignored, no number of directives issued to NERC will correct NESI’s headlong plunge into cataclysmic collapse,” he declared.

He explained that Nigerians deserve better than the seemingly uncoordinated and unfocused policy and regulatory environment he said has continued to undermine the attainment of private-sector driven efficiency in the sector.

Speaking further on government’s claims that power generation had peaked to 7,000MW since President Muhammadu Buhari became president in May 2015, the Disco officials explained that as at January 2015, Nigeria already had close to that generation figure.

He suggested that government’s repeated claim of excess generation of 2,000MW that are idle was not true.

“A review of NERC’s ‘Daily Energy Watch’ for January 28th, 2015 would indicate a generation availability of 6,421MW – divided into peak of 4,230MW and constrained energy of 2,191MW. In other words, it is misleading to state that available generation has grown from 4,000MW in 2015, as a measure of progress, given that a volume of generation slightly under 7,000MW already or previously existed, prior to the beginning of this administration.

“Furthermore, there is no stranded 2,000MW. While there is an available capacity of 7,000MW, the best that can be generated, at this time, is 5,000MW. This is because there is insufficient gas to power the thermal plants due to gas line limitations – for instance, the non-completion of the Oben pipeline, and the absence of a commercial framework that would encourage gas exploration.

“Generation that is constrained by gas amounts to an average 1,500MW daily. Of note is that 25 out of 28 generation plants are fuelled by gas. Transmission grid frequency, line limitation and water management make up the difference of the balance 500MW of constrained generation.

“In simple terms, the often-advertised and pronounced Disco limitation to take on 2,000MW of additional generation is not consistent with the facts or reality. This, therefore, shows that very little has actually changed contrary to the minister’s constant pronouncements,” Oduntan explained.

•Culled from ThisDay


Source News Express

Posted 18/07/2018 05:06:43 AM


Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+




You may also like...
Troops, Civilian JTF overwhelm Boko Haram fighters, rescue...

CBN clears the air on use of BVN...

Rev. Fr. Mbaka descends on Gov. Okorocha over...

Saraki indicts Police •Says Senate to fast-track passage...

Girl bleeds to death after genital mutilation

Zika virus confirmed in the UK

Western Union, Moneygram services now available in Nigeria...

Microsoft market cap soars above $500 billion

Alex Otti: Beyond half-truths and misinformation, By Enyinnaya...

Show of shame: Trump, CNN reporter exchange hot...

Shiites storm Abuja to march for El-Zakzaky’s release...

NLNG tax holiday: NIMASA to appeal Federal High...


Latest News 10-year-old boy commits suicide after health criticism in school Sacked TETFUND boss says minister demanded N200m bribe Organised Labour takes minimum wage battle to NASS Buhari campaign group sues Atiku for alleged defamation Senate breaches law, holds plenary with only 17 lawmakers present Council of State does not have powers to fix salaries, wages — ULC Stakeholders warn against politicising Amnesty Programme Buhari storms Sokoto, commits to three cardinal programmes Lassa fever claims four lives in Plateau Reforms on SARS will not be cosmetic: Police Spokesman Alleged N7.2bn fraud: Court awaits fresh directive for continuation of Kalu’s trial Ukah solicits support of Delta religious leaders, opinion moulders for Gov Okowa’s re-election


Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (442,274 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (400,904 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (334,673 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (287,713 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (252,881 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (231,800 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (216,022 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (197,309 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (184,555 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (172,860 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (170,362 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (156,254 views)


JAMB 2019 Reg

CBN banner


Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (76) Business & Economy (3,977) Business Verdict (55) Columnists (986) Complaints & Requests (95) Enterprise & Opportunities (208) Entertainment (580) Features (704) Global Business Monitor (314) International (3,013) Interview (170) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (151) Maggie's Blog (122) News (42,625) Opinion (1,180) Pidgin (16) Politics (8,877) Religion (942) Sports (1,870) Stock Watch (36) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update





APO Group Partner




GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member



Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera