The Chief Executive Officer of Eko Electricity Distribution Company (DisCo), Dr Oladele Amoda at the weekend lamented that the funding gap in the power sector has widened to between N900billion and N1trillion.
Amoda told reporters that liquidity issues and non-cost-reflective tariff were some of the major challenges facing the DisCos. According to him, these problems were caused by huge debts owed power generation (GenCos) and DisCos by consumers.
He said debts owed Eko DisCo by ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) across all levels of government is estimated at N10.7 billion as at last July. Other issues include non-cost-reflective tariff, energy theft through meter bypass, illegal connection double feeding, vandalism of transformers, cables and power equipment.
Meanwhile, following persistent poor grid output, Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) has completed arrangement to generate 598 megawatts (Mw) of electricity from embedded generation (off-grid electricity by private generators). Amoda said that power supply from embedded generation had become imperative to enable the utility firm meet the consumption needs of its customers. He said the company gets 140Mw through dedicated power supply and has prequalified 10 firms as successful bidders for the supply of 458Mw. According to him, 100Mw comes from the rehabilitated STO6 or unit 6 of Egbin Power Station. Unit 6 was not part of the units privatized by the government. While Paras Energy Limited is supplying 40Mw.
Among the prequalified bidders for the supply of 458Mw is First Power Limited. First Power, he said, will be supplying 13Mw. The firm was ready to pump power but Eko DisCo wants to tidy up arrangements and approval from Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and off-takers of the power to be generated. “Eko Electricity Distribution Company is the first to enter into bilateral contracts in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) to augment power from the grid. We contracted Egbin Power PLC and Paras Energy through bilateral agreement to improve power supply availability on our network by about 140Mw, and we want to increase that supplementary power to 160Mw soon.
“We are also the first DisCo to actively engage in embedded generation scheme. We have also sent out letters of intent (LoI) to 10 successful bidders for about 458Mw power generation through our first in class embedded generation programme. We are waiting for NERC and off-takers to sign off,” the power chief said.