CBN disburses balance of N213b to electricity sector


NNPC plans 785mmscf of gas supply
THERE are indications that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will soon resume the disbursement of the balance of the N213 billion facility to the electricity sector. The disbursement was approved recently by the Federal Government.

The CBN had earlier disbursed a substantial but an undisclosed amount of the facility to operators, but suspended the scheme in view of the policy summersault in the sector, especially as regards cost-reflective tariff.

A copy of the statement from the second monthly meeting of operators with Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, in Lagos, obtained by The Guardian, indicates that “CBN is committed to an immediate resumption of disbursement of the balance of the N213 billion facility previously approved but suspended.”

The Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET) also presented a solution for the electricity sector liquidity issues, which involved the development of a Power Sector Liquidity Bond to cover validated present and future liquidity gaps until 2018.

As noted in the statement, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) indicated that the electricity sector would get additional 220 million standard cubic feet per day (mmsfcd) by the end of first quarter of 2016, and 785 mmsfcd by the end of second quarter, a development expected to add significant supplies to electricity generation.

The meeting, chaired by Fashola, focused on identifying and finding practical solutions to issues facing the Nigerian electricity supply industry.

Further to the decision of the meeting on public engagement at the last meeting, all the distribution companies (Discos) 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.

Indeed, the Discos signed an agreement to install prepaid meters, with Eko Disco promising to meter 90,000 customers by June and 150,000 by December; Ikeja – 120,000 customers by June and 220,000 by December; Kano – 40,000 by June and 100,000 by December; Yola – 30,000 by June and 75,000 by December; Jos – 45,000 by June and 120,000 by December; Benin – 18,000 by June and 36,000 by December; while Port Harcourt Disco will connect 75,000 and 150,000 customers to prepaid meters by June and December 2016 respectively .

The meeting sympathised with the Anekwe family whose daughters were victims of the University of Lagos electrocution and acknowledged the responsiveness of the Eko Disco in paying compensation to the family through the company’s insurance scheme.

At the meeting, the regulator approved the power purchase agreement between Paras Power and Eko Disco for embedded generation supply to willing customers, effective from February 12, 2016. Also, the AES Power Plant, Egbin Power Plant and the NNPC agreed to meet tomorrow, February 11, 2016 to complete ongoing negotiations with a view to supplying gas to AES power plant.

On its part, the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) stressed the need to improve safety standards by Discos and their contractors in order to reduce accidents and death.

Towards this, it was agreed that NEMSA shall start ranking Discos for safety compliance and accident reduction, as well as applying sanctions for non-compliance.

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), however, reported interface issues and discussed ongoing plans to review and resolve such issues.

The TCN 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.

The operators were fully represented at the highest executive management levels, including managing directors and chief executive officers 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 Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) responsible for the regulation and development of the electricity industry.

The oil and gas industry was represented by senior executives of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Gas Aggregating Company of Nigeria (GACN) and Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) towards intensifying efforts to resolve bottlenecks associated with gas supply to the electricity sector.