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Togo, Benin, Niger paid nothing for Nigeria’s power supply, says NERC

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The Republic of Benin, Niger Republic and Togo made no payment for the electricity supplied to them from Nigeria in the second quarter of 2021, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has said.

In its just released Second Quarter Report 2021, the NERC stated that the power firms of the three nations and some other special customers were issued a total bill of N770m by the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading company and the Market Operator of the Transmission Company of Nigeria.

It, however, noted that nothing was paid by the neighbouring countries and other special customers for the power supplied to them from Nigeria during the period.

The neighbouring countries’ power firms include Societe Nigerienne d’electricite – NIGELEC, in Niger Republic; Societe Beninoise d’Energie Electrique – SBEE, in Benin Republic; and Compagnie Energie Electrique du Togo– CEET, in Togo Republic.

The commission said, “During the quarter under review, NBET and MO issued a total of N0.77bn in respect of energy sold by NBET and services rendered by MO to the special (Ajaokuta Steel Co. Ltd and other bilateral customers) and international customers (Societe Nigerienne d’electricite – NIGELEC, Societe Beninoise d’Energie Electrique – SBEE and Compagnie Energie Electrique du Togo– CEET).

“No payment was made by these customers during the quarter under review. It is hoped that as the economy of these customers improves post-COVID-19 lockdown so that they will resume the settlement of their bills in full.”

On the performance of distribution companies in Nigeria with respect to the payment of electricity sold to them by the NBET, the power sector regulator stated that the firms did not pay up all their bills.

“During the second quarter of 2021, a total invoice of N259.7bn was issued to the eleven Discos for energy received from the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc and for service charge by MO, out of which a sum of N130.11bn was settled, representing remittance performance of 50.11 per cent.

“This represents a 1.78 percentage point decrease from the final settlement rate recorded in the first quarter of 2021.”

The NERC stated that apart from Eko Disco, none of the other Discos met their expected minimum remittance thresholds to NBET in the quarter under review.

It stated that overall, the total Disco remittance to NBET was 76 per cent of expected total for the quarter, as the average aggregate remittance performances to MO and NBET decreased by 1.78 percentage points from 51.88 per cent in first quarter 2021 to 50.1 per cent in the second quarter.

“Discos remittance performance level ranged from 10.51 per cent (Yola) to 63.69 per cent (Eko) for NBET and 28.76 per cent (Yola) to 99.88 per cent (Eko) for MO,” the NERC stated.

It added, “Ikeja recorded zero remittance to MO in the months of May and June 2021 as they wait to resolve Service Level Agreement dispute.”

On commercial performance, the report stated that the total billing to and collection from electricity consumers by all the 11 Discos stood at N268.97bn and N185.29bn respectively during the quarter under review, implying a collection efficiency of 68.89 per cent.

It said the level of collection efficiency indicated that as much as N3.11 out of every N10 worth of energy sold during the second quarter of 2021 remained uncollected from consumers.

“Thus, only a marginal improvement in the collection efficiency is noticeable over the 68.55 per cent recorded in the first quarter 2021,” the NERC stated.

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Reps Committees probes identities of contractors involved in N18.9b bush clearing contracts

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The Public Account Committee of the House of Representatives, PAC on Wednesday, resolved to unmask the real identities of the owners of the companies which took contracts valued the sum of N18.9 billion from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for clearing of bushes, land preparation, rehabilitation of soil plant lab and others during the last COVID-19 lockdown of the country.

The resolution followed the appearance of representatives of two of the 20 affected companies at the resumed investigative hearing of the Committee on queries to Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs of the federal government by the Office of Auditor General of the Federation.

The affected companies are: Easy Construction Company LTD and NUKAAG VENTURES LTD respectively while the remaining 18 companies failed to show up.

The Committee being chaired by Hon Wole Oke (PDP-OSUN) said that the two representatives of the Companies (Johnson Philip and Taiwo Idowu), were of the Managerial cadre and as such not competent to appear before the Committee going by the Rules of the House.

Responding to a question posed by the Chairman of the Committee on whether they were familiar with the submission submitted to the Committee on the award and execution of the contractors so as not to mislead it, they both said no.

Consequently, the Committee directed the duo to leave immediately and directed that the Managing Directors or Chairmen of the companies should personally appear before it and speak to the submission before the Committee.

In addition, Hon Oke directed the Clerk of the Committee to write to the Registrar General of the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC to furnish the Committee, the detailed information of the affected 20 companies, including year of incorporation, Corporate offices, names of the owners, shareholders amongst others.

According to him, “we are not concerned about who won the contracts, what we are after is to deter value for money paid out and the sites of the projects, and we will carry that mission to the latter.

“The Clerk should also write the Federal Inland Revenue Services, FIRS, to furnish the Committee about the financial status of the companies.

Hon Oke assured that the Committee would carry out a diligent investigation into the matter as it was interested in finding out the location of the projects and the significance of such projects to the country.

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Blackout looms as IKEDC stops operations

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The Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEC) has announced a shutdown of operations following the issues between the National Union of Electricity Employees and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TUC).

In a statement on Wednesday via its verified Twitter handle, @IkejaElectric, the Disco announced the shutdown of operations.

The statement read partly, “Due to the ongoing nationwide picketing of Transmission Stations by the NUEE, we are currently experiencing disruption of power supply as most stations within our network have been shut down.

“Kindly bear with us as we await an amicable resolution by the relevant stakeholders.”

Organised labour had on Tuesday directed workers in the power sector to shutdown and commence an indefinite strike over pending issues with the TCN.

The aggrieved workers under the aegis of the NUEE were at the Abuja national headquarters of the TCN Tuesday as a prelude to the proposed strike.

The union noted that the strike was in protest of a directive by the TCN Board mandating all PMs in acting capacity going to the Annual General Meeting to appear for promotional interviews.

In a circular titled, ‘Call to Action,’ which was addressed to senior assistant general secretaries and zonal organising secretaries, dated August 15, 2022, the General Secretary of the NUEE, Joe Ajaero, directed electricity workers to ensure total compliance, vowing to paralyse operations of the TCN nationwide over anti-masses activities.

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Electricity workers’ strike throws South-East into blackout

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Power distribution has been halted completely in the entire South-East States.

This follows the industrial action embarked upon by the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) at the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) power stations.

The development threw the five South-East States into a total blackout, Wednesday afternoon.

Emeka Ezeh, Head Corporate Communications, EEDC, confirmed that that operations across the franchise area of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company PLC (EEDC) have been disrupted.

He said, “as a result of this development all our feeders are out of supply and this has affected supply to our esteemed customers in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States.

“Consultations are ongoing among critical stakeholders in the power sector to address this issue and possibly restore supply.

“The Management of EEDC hereby encourage customers and neighbourhood associations to be vigilant and protect the electrical installations within their environment against elements who might take advantage of this outage to vandalise these installations.”

“We, therefore, appeal for continued patience and understanding while this is resolved,” he noted.

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