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Nigeria Reports Progress In Siemens Power Project As 5 Transformers, 3 Mobile Substations Installed

Nigeria’s electricity regulator, NERC, has urged distribution companies to provide meters for 20% unmetered Band ‘A’ customers.

The federal government has said that the pilot phase of the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI), also known as the Siemens power project, has almost been completed, with the installation and commissioning of five out of 10 power transformers completed.

In a rundown of the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu’s outing during the week, made available by his media office, the government added that the installation of three out of 10 mobile substations had also been accomplished.

Conceived during a meeting between former President Muhammadu Buhari and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2018, the PPI aims to enable the power sector to achieve commercial autonomy by facilitating investments in critical infrastructure.

Aside increasing capacity to 7GW in the first phase by resolving transmission and distribution constraints, the programme which has been largely delayed, will increase grid operational capacity by an additional 4GW to 11GW in phase two, while phase three will achieve the end-to-end grid operational capacity to 25GW.

Explaining that seven more mobile substations are already scheduled for installation, the minister noted that the next phase of the PPI involves upgrading capacity of the transmission network.

“It will involve upgrading existing transmission substations, upgrading transformers and the reconductoring and installation of transmission lines,” the media office quoted him as saying.

He added that Zungeru power plant has also connected to the national grid and is in the process of technical handover from consultants to concessionaire as part of one-year defect liability period, ensuring prompt resolution of any issues.

On closing of the metering gap, Adelabu stated that the Presidential Metering Initiative (PMI) aims to install a minimum of between 2 million meters to 2.5 million meters yearly within the next five years.

Adelabu reiterated that the federal government will save N1.5 trillion with the recent tariff adjustment but explained that the government is still subsidising other Bands below ‘A’.

“Pricing change will help improve liquidity to the NESI. Distribution Companies (Discos) will be sanctioned for supplying less than 20 hours to Band A consumers,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has urged the Discos to do more in metering their customers.

Speaking during an engagement with members of the Civil Society Organisations (CSO) and Community Based Organisations (CBOs), in Abuja, Vice Chairman, NERC, Dr Musiliu Oseni, disclosed that about 15 percent to 20 percent of the Band A customers are still not metered.

The event was held towards improving interactions with electricity consumers on the recent tariff approval, third party investments in the electricity network as well as collaborating to tackle energy theft.

“There are few areas of collaboration that we will be seeking from you because of the role you play. NERC is here in Abuja but has at least one office across nearly all the states, but you are in those states, and you are closer to the people with your customer base, so we really need you to work with NERC to put the licensees on their toes.

“Based on the tariff order that we have released, there are certain conditions that Discos should meet in delivering service to affected customers.

“On metering, we still have about 15 to 20 percent of the Band A customers that are not metered and that has to be a priority for the Discos. There are various initiatives of the presidency and the NESI to ensure metering. The most important thing is that efforts are being made to meter customers starting from those that are being affected now on Band A,” he stated.

In his remarks during the meeting, the NERC Commissioner, Legal, Licencing and Compliance, Dafe Akpeneye, explained that the EPSRA 2005 did not adequately empower NERC to do all that it has to do as a regulator, but that has changed now with the enactment of the Electricity Act.

“It is needed to bring people in line to follow due process, and you can see that the tone in the power sector is changing; we have not been able to do what we have been able to do before. NERC is empowered to go the whole gamut of regulatory and enforcement actions as expected of a regulator but we do not intend to abuse those powers. Our intention is to enforce those powers and to get licensees to comply, ” he added.

NERC Commissioner, Planning, Research and Strategy, Dr. Yusuf Ali, who spoke on strategic collaborations with the CSOs and CBOs, describing them as partners in progress.

“What we need from you is, please verify facts and ask us questions to have an informed perspective. As you proceed to protect customers, always ensure that you engage with us and with those facts, you can get some level of objectivity.

“We will want to have this kind of meeting regularly so that you can be educated and when you are, you can better engage with electricity consumers,” he stated.

Emmanuel Addeh

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