April 15, 2024

Institute calls on government to audit power infrastructure


The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers of Nigeria has called on the Federal Government to audit all power infrastructure assets in the country.

This was contained in a statement issued by the institute, signed by its director, Felix Orr, and made available to the press on Sunday.

The statement was made at the end of a one-day conference held by the institute in Abuja.

The advisory comes against the backdrop of the recent deterioration in electricity supply in the country despite the recently announced electricity tariff increase for Band A customers by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.

NERC announced on April 3 that it would increase tariffs for Band A electricity consumers from 68 naira to 225 naira per kilowatt-hour.

While DisCos are working to meet the supply hours required by Band A customers, customers in Bands B, C, D and E are left without power.

The institute said the power sector's problems are systemic and that a redesign of market rules is needed to address issues of reliability and market imbalances.

According to Olu, problems in the power sector include transmission infrastructure capacity, inefficient service quality and unwillingness of DISCOs to accept the load.

He said, “The problems in the power sector include transmission infrastructure capacity, inefficient quality of service, DISCOs’ refusal to accept load, low willingness of private investors to invest in the power business, total technical and commercial losses are astronomical, which calls for a serious technical audit of all power infrastructure and assets in Nigeria (Gencos, Transcos and Discos) to be carried out.”

“The rules-based market design does not have strict compliance and severe penalties are imposed on violators. The Electricity Act, 2023 is silent on how to handle surplus or deficit of electricity from states and does not clarify the role assigned to the Electricity Transmission Company of Nigeria.”

The statement further recommended that “bottlenecks occurring in the acquisition and deployment of smart prepaid meters should be removed, which includes the involvement of local meter manufacturers. Also, deployment of smart prepaid meters by meter asset providers to customers should be in strict compliance with relevant statutory regulatory instruments.”

“Also, a technical audit of all power infrastructure and assets (Gencos, Transcos and Discos) in Nigeria must be carried out. Similarly, a drastic reduction in electricity distribution (ATC&C) losses and transmission losses to 10% and 5% respectively by December 31, 2024 must also be achieved.”

He called on the government to set up a high-powered technical committee to examine the bifurcation proposals and policies and prepare a viable homegrown roadmap.

“We also recommend that the technical analysis of TCN separation should be carried out by a team of experienced technicians, including engineers.”

“The unbundling of TCN should commence after states have enacted their power laws and bidding for the unbundled entity should be open only to experienced investors with a proven track record.”

“Regular stakeholder meetings should be held between system operators, market operators, generation companies, transmission companies, distribution companies and the regulator, while the regulator should ensure compliance in day-to-day operations and use of relevant codes, standards and regulations in line with the requirements of the Nigerian electricity supply industry,” the NIEEE president said.


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