The Nigerian Government said on Monday, February 12, 2018, that the electricity industry loses N24bn Monthly due largely to imported energy. The government lamented that despite the huge interventions, it has made in the power sector; Nigerians still consume about 300 million liters of diesel per month, most of which is used for power generation in industries, homes, and offices. Speaking at the monthly power sector stakeholders meeting in Abuja, Minister of Power, Works, and Housing Babatunde Fashola said about 75 percent of the diesel is imported, and that this has put pressure on the scarce foreign exchange.
He was represented by Suleiman Hassan Zarma, the Minister of state in the same Ministry, he said, “Assuming 40% of the consumption is used for power generation at an average of price of N200 per liter, the electricity industry is losing N24bn every month largely to imported energy.” Fashola pointed out that,”Nigerians still consume about 300 million liters of diesel every month and most of this is used to power generators, adding that, “At the same time, there is about 2,000MW of electricity generating capacity that is unutilized.”
Fashola, however, pointed out that,”The challenge of the moment before the industry is how to deliver the unutilized capacity to consumers who are willing to pay for it and are already paying dearly for alternatives. Saying, ”Problems like this require creative solutions and we don’t have any time to waste. The N701 billion intervention program is a creative solution that appears to be having the desired effect for stabilizing the gas and generation end of the electricity industry.”
Speaking further, he said,”If we can creatively and constructively focus on specific win-win projects, four policies provide the effective tool to quickly resolve the challenges we now face. The first two, the eligible customer regulation and the meter service provider regulation are already subjects of detailed discussions and NERC regulatory action.”
“The eligible customer regulation allows large consumers to buy their power directly from Gencos and then sign with TCN and Discos to have the power delivered to them. To plan an orderly win-win implementation of this policy, the ministry is hosting a discussion with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, and other interested large consumers of the policy on Tuesday.”
He said,”The meter service provider initiative can unlock investments in meters which are urgently needed to boost consumer trust and boost collection efficiency. Government seeks to apply that policy through private companies and local meter manufacturers to invest N39 billion in meters as settlement of a court judgment in favor of the government.”
He further said,”The distribution expansion program aims to rapidly construct 2500 Mega Volt Amp, MVA of dedicates 33 Kilovolt, kV lines, and packaged substations to deliver unutilized power to target consumers and Discos. It is our hope that we will all put our heads together to serve the public effectively.”