By Ediri Ejoh
THE Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, and the Distribution Companies of Nigeria, DISCOS, have called for more funding in the power sector to provide the necessary booster that will sustain power delivery.
Speaking to Vanguard, Head, Corporate Communications Department, Eko Electricity Distribution Company, EKEDC, Mr Godwin Idemudia, stated that the national grid as currently practiced needs to be reviewed.
He said, “The present state of the grid needs re-enforcement. The sector needs a lot of funding to meet the demands of the nation. Once we are able to get the power problems fixed, every other aspect of national development would fall in place, as all hands must be on deck to achieve the desired growth in the sector.
Explaining the shortfall in the sector, he said “Yes there is huge shortfall in development which has subsequently been blamed on debts owed by most MDAs. The non payment of electricity bills has greatly impacted on our ability to strengthen and fully improve our network.
“If paid, the money would enable us to do a lot of things. More transformers and meters can be bought to ease the mounting request of our customers to meet their meters and electricity supply needs.
“Some of the challenges we have right now is such that people are refusing to pay for electricity they have consumed; bypassing of our meters (energy theft); harassment of our staff carrying out their legitimate duties.”
“Others include inadequate power supply from the national grid to meet the yearnings and aspirations of our esteemed customers as we cannot give what we do not have; as well as vandalism of our equipment, which is hindering our operations a lot.”
He added that structures and programmes are put in place to ensure that customers benefit from services to them. “We have been able to put in place an additional bilateral agreement with an existing power station to inject 100 megawatts direct to our network without passing through the grid but at a premium rate to our willing customers.
“Aside from that, we also have another 40mw signed with Paras engineering company for energy supply into our network. These are some of the measures of embedded generation our company is involved in to satisfy our customers,” he said.
Corroborating the DISCO, acting Chairman/CEO, NERC, Dr. Anthony Akah, said all hands are on deck to ensure the sector’s growth.
According to him, “All hands are on deck to ensure the workability and sustainability of the national grid system which of recent has experienced drastic shocks due to the dwindling electricity generation.”
“In line with the Federal Government policy thrust as stated by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on the citing of power generation plants close to its energy sources to reduce their vulnerability to vandalism and militant’s attacks, NERC’s bulk procurement regulation encourages investors to cite their power plant close to the source of fuel.