DisCos fault Minister’s claims on power generation, transmission capacity

By Obas Esiedesa

The Association of Electricity Distribution Companies (ANED) has faulted recent claims by the Minister of Power, Engr Sale Mamman that the country has electricity generation capacity of 13,000 megawatts and transmission capacity of 7,000MW.

The Minister also claimed that the DisCos could only distribute only 3,000MW thus limiting the amount of power available to Nigerians.

But the DisCos in a statement said such claims were unhelpful and innaccurate.
According to ANED, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), which is wholly owned by the government, has never transmistted above 4,557MW.
ANED said the DisCos could only deliver the energy that is transmitted or wheeled to them by TCN, based on the amount generated.

The group stated: “A review of the daily power reports published by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN)’s National Control Centre (NCC),
government entities, would indicate that the peak generation ever recorded in Nigeria is 5,375 MW, of which only 4,303 MW of energy was wheeled or transmitted by TCN to the DisCos. A further review, historically, would indicate that TCN has never wheeled or transmitted energy above 4,557 MW nor matched its transmission to any of the generation peaks to date”.

The DisCos described any claim that TCN is able to transmist 7,000MW of power as misleading.

“TCN’s attestations of a transmission capacity of 8,100 MW is based on nothing more than a computer simulation and not tested, proven or practical capacity”, it added.

“Maximum Available Capacity to Date, for generation, indicated in the NCC report on the date (February 20, 2020) of the Honourable Minister’s comments was 7,652.2 MW. Thus, raising a question as to the basis for the Honourable Minister’s reference to 13,000 MW of generation”.

On the Minister’s claim that government has continued to provide subsidy to the sector despite its privatisation in 2013, ANED denied that its members have receieved subsidies from the government.

“To date, the DisCos have not received any subsidy from the federal government.

References to the N1.7 trillion in subsidies paid by the government are associated with payments that have been made to the generating and gas supply companies, under the Payment Assurance Guarantees (PAG) initiative and the Nigerian Electricity Market Stabilization Fund (NEMSF).

“PAG is, principally, a result of government regulatory and policy interventionist initiatives that have resulted in the inability of the NESI value chain to recover the cost of doing business based, primarily, on tariffs that are non-cost reflective – an unmet critical commitment of the privatisation of the electricity distribution companies”.

While acknowledging that the DisCos’ operations were still below the expectations of consumers and Nigerians in general, the group the challenges faced by the sector require collaboration to surmount.

“As the face of the NESI market, responsible for direct interface with the public and collecting of all monies due to the different players in the sector, we readily acknowledge both the inefficiencies that our sub-sector continues to experience and the pervasive dissatisfaction of our customers with same.

“We will continue to strive to do better. However, it is also important that our customers, specifically, and Nigerian citizens, in general, be accurately and well informed as to the challenges, facts and constraints of the NESI value chain, as necessary for us to, collectively, devise strategies and solution that will get us to the envisioned improved supply of, and service delivery of electricity”.

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