…Experts laud’s CBN financial intervention
By Obas Esiedesa, Abuja
Power supply in Nigeria continued to struggle as grid generation fell to 3,223 mega watts as at 2pm on Sunday, as gas supply shortage to power plants showed no sign of abating.
Latest data from the System Operator, an autonomous unit at the Transmission Company of Nigeria, showed several power plants operating at less than 50 percent capacity with many completely shutdown.
Data showed that Nigeria’s largest power station, Egbin Power plant was generating 750MW while Geregu power plant was generating 220MW. Oloronsogo was generating 61MW while Omoku was at 39.10MW.
Also Sapele Power plant was generating at 42MW while Afam was at 70MW.
On the average, power supply in the past seven days fell by 5.76 percent from 4,173.4MW on Sunday, 30 May to 3,933.1MW on Saturday 5 June, 2021.
Speaking on the power situation, energy experts decried the poor supply to customers, saying more needs to be done to improve the sector.
They lauded the financial discipline introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, in the electricity industry but pointed out that while it has achieved the desired results in terms of transparency in revenue collection in the sector, consumers were yet to reap the benefits.
They called for improvement in electricity supply, stressing that the sector operators must not smile to the bank while service remained poor.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had last year directed Deposit Money Banks to take charge of collection of electricity bill payments in the country, limiting the capacity of distribution companies to withdraw money from the accounts.
In his reaction, President, Nigeria Consumer Protection Network, NCPN, Kunle Olubiyo disclosed that the initiative by the apex bank deserves commendation.
Olubiyo said transparency in the sector due to the initiative was a good step that would allow all the players in the market to closely monitor the revenue coming into the market.
According to him, “Right now, every stakeholder in the sector sees the revenue that comes in. There are different lines for expenditures, so government and other stakeholders can recover their money. These have helped in revenue efficiency and collection.”
Olubiyo noted that the policy adopted by the apex bank equally ensured discipline in the finances of the sector, thereby increasing the level of revenue into the market.
“The move is not out place. The equity for private sector is only 40 with the 60 per cent for government. Before 2020 thing well done with impunity until CBN escrowed the accounts.
“The decline in service is however worrisome for end user. With more money coming into the sector, there should no longer be excuse for the sector. No reason for metering for lack of metering,” Olubiyo said.
Also speaking, Partner, Nextier Power, Emeka Okpukpara said the policy improved financial liquidity in the sector and introduced transparency.
Okpukpara maintained that the plan enabled players in the sector to have access to information, adding that apart from offering visibility to the sector’s finance, the effort by the apex bank ensured payment of debts as first line charges.
“The financial discipline allows visibility of what DisCos are collecting. It allows debts such as generation, services, and other charges to be settled first before operating expenses.
“Transparency is most cases increases trust in a system therefore I would recommend that the collection figures are made public since DisCos are custodians of market funds rather than the owners”, he stated.