The Nigeria Electricity System Operator (NESO) has revealed that at its peak, Nigeria’s power sector was only able to generate about 15.6 per cent of the total projected national daily requirement of 28.880 megawatts.
NESO, a semi-autonomous arm under the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) is responsible for operating the transmission system in a safe and reliable manner.
The TCN network spreads to all parts of the country and across the border to several neighbouring countries. Nigeria is a net exporter of power.
A trend analysis of data released by the system operator and compiled by THISDAY, indicated that despite the various financial interventions by the federal government, mostly through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the last seven years, only a paltry average of 4,500MW was actually generated every day.
To make matters worse, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), which is fully owned by the federal government, is able to wheel the entire generation to Nigerian homes, sometimes, due to dilapidated infrastructure.
The data released by NESO showed that the country needs approximately 28.880MW, but is barely able to push 5,000MW for use by homes and business concerns in the country.
In the last seven years, the CBN was estimated to have pumped over N1.5 trillion into the sector, in over 23 instances through the Power and Aviation Intervention Fund (PAIF) worth roughly N300 billion, through the Nigerian Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility (NEMSF), valued at N213 billion and the N140 billion Solar Connection Intervention Facility (SCIF).
Added to that, the apex bank has spent over N600 billion to augment tariff shortfall, plus a recent N120 billion intervention designed for mass metering, which is currently being deployed in the country.
The World Bank recently projected that the federal government could be paying as much as N3.4 trillion by 2023 if the current shortfall persisted.
According to the Washington-based institution, only 22 per cent of the poorest households has access to electricity, with Nigeria now having the largest number of ‘unelectrified’ people globally after overtaking the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
In the weekly data released by the system operator, on July 14th, peak generation was a meagre 4722.7mw, lowest generation was 3442.5mw, which is a far cry from the almost 30,000 minimum power needed to electrify the country at every point.
The system operator put the nation’s peak demand forecast for that day at 28850mw, although grid generation installed capacity still remained at 13,014 and transmission wheeling capacity peaked at 8100MW.
According to the TCN, all-time peak ever attained in the country was 5801.6MW. It was same on July 15, when peak generation was only 4594.3MW, lowest power generated was 3419.8MW and highest voltage recorded stood at 351kv, according to the NESO data.
Similarly, on July 16, peak generation was 4042.4MW, while lowest generation was 2907MW, being one of the worst days during the week, the lowest voltage recorded was 300kv. It was 4598.6MW for peak generation on July 13, and 3310.5MW was its lowest generation.
Also, the data showed that on July 18th, peak generation was 4915.8MW, lowest generation was 3.413.3MW, while total generation capacity stood at 7652.6mw.
Not much has been heard concerning the deal signed between the government and Siemens last year, to overhaul the power sector, although the Special Adviser to the Minister of Power on Media and Communication, Mr. Aaron Artimas, assured Nigerians last week that the deal had not been called off.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has released an updated list of Meter Asset Providers (MAP), comprising 15 meter manufacturers, 23 importers, three vendors and 58 corporate installers.
The list obtained by THISDAY indicated that the updated document now contains those who have just renewed their licences, which had earlier expired.
The commission noted that the corporate meter installers were classified into several groups, with class A1 certification authorising a holder to undertake installations at grid voltages exceeding five grid metering systems; low voltage single and three phase metering systems, including high voltage maximum demand installation exceeding 750 metering systems.
Nigeria currently has a rough energy mix, which is dominated by thermal, mostly gas-to-power of 75 per cent and hydro (water) of about 25 per cent power generating sources, although there have been recent noticeable attempts to rev up solar power use in far-flung rural areas by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA).
Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja