From ODIMMEGWA JOHNPETER, Abuja
THE Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, Monday chaired the Second Monthly Meeting of Operators in the Power Sector in Lagos with the Electricity Distribution Companies promising more aggressive commitment to metering.
The operators were fully represented at the highest executive management levels at the meeting, including Managing Directors and CEOs of Generating Companies (GenCos), Distribution Companies (DisCos), and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), as well as various government agencies such as the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET), the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) responsible for the regulation and development of the electricity industry.
The oil and gas industry was also fully represented by senior executives of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), Gas Aggregating Company of Nigeria (GACN) and the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) with the aim of intensifying efforts to resolve bottlenecks associated with gas supply to the power sector.At the meeting of operators in the electricity industry convened in furtherance of the commitment of the Minister to adopt a hands on approach in identifying, discussing and finding practical solutions to challenges confronting the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, a number of issues were discussed .
In a communiqué after the meeting which took place at the Alagbon Transmission and Distribution Complex of the Eko Electricity Distribution Company in Ikoyi, all the Distribution Companies also agreed to improve customer service delivery by strengthening the operations of their customer centres and providing dedicated phone numbers to ensure consumer complaints within their jurisdictions are promptly responded to.
Sympathising with the Anekwe family whose daughters were victims of electrocution, the Stakeholders however acknowledged the responsiveness of the Eko Disco for paying compensation to the family through the company’s insurance company.
At the meeting, the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) emphasized the need to improve safety standards by DisCos and their contractors in order to reduce accidents and death. NEMSA also underscored the health and safety issues of the sector and the need for improvement in responsiveness to such issues. It was also agreed that NEMSA would start ranking DisCos for safety compliance and accident reduction, as well as applying sanctions for non-compliance.
The AES Power Plant, Egbin Power Plant and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company who were represented at the highest levels, agreed to meet on Thursday 11th February to complete the on-going negotiations with a view to supplying gas to AES power plant.
Addressing interface issues while submitting and discussing on-going plans to review and resolve the issues, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) also identified 51 issues to be resolved affecting supply in areas like Alaoji, Sokoto, Ahoada, Damaturu, Gbarain, Calabar, Afikpo, Nsukka, Okigwe, Ihiala, Ayede, Ikeja, Ajah, Lekki, Kebbi, Jos, Kaduna, Kano, Makurdi, Kainji, Kafanchan, Otukpo, Hadejia, Wudil, Kumbotso, Bauchi, Gombe, Katsina, Daura, Abuja and Maiduguri.
On its part, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) presented their plans, which are expected to add significant gas supplies for power generation. The sector expects an addition of 220mmsfcd by the end of Q1 of 2016, and 785 MMSFCD by the end of Q2 of 2016 cumulative.
The Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET) presented a solution for power sector liquidity issues which involved the development of a Power Sector Liquidity Bond to cover validated present and future liquidity gap until 2018 and the Central Bank of Nigeria is committed to immediate resumption of disbursement of the balance of the N213 billion facility previously approved but suspended.
The regulator approved the power purchase between Paras Power and Eko Disco for embedded generation supply to willing customers, effective from 12th February 2016.