‘Over 50% of electricity users are not metered’

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), has put the number of unmetered customers at 5.025 million as at December 2017, representing over 50 per cent of electricity users in the country.

NBS, which made the disclosure in its power sector statistics released Wednesday, disclosed that the Distribution Companies (Discos) were only able to meter 3,451,611 customers out of the 7,476,856 meters across the country.

According to the agency, about 273,596 customers were given three phase-prepaid meters while 1,222,960 customers got single-phase prepaid meters.

It identified Benin Disco as having the highest percentage of customer metered with 69.49 per cent recorded.

This is closely followed by Eko Disco with 60.73 per cent, and Ikeja Disco with 55.95 per cent respectively. Yola and Enugu discos recorded the least percentage of customers metered with 23 and 27.72 per cent recorded respectively.

The generation statistics reflected that a total average of 94,627 Megawatts per Hour (MWh) of energy was generated daily by power stations in December.

NBS said the daily energy generation attained a peak of 105,152 MWh on the 8th of December 2017, adding that the thermal stations generated 84,026Mh of this, while the hydro generated 21,126MWh.

The Bureau disclosed that the lowest daily energy generation, 73,246 was attained on October 18, 2017, as the thermal stations generated 55,941MWh of the total, while the hydros generated the remaining 17,305MWh.

Speaking on the Federal Government’s efforts at improving power generation in the country, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said with the completion of the 20-year Transmission Expansion Plan, the era of trial and error in the transmission expansion program will be over.

He said that the report will clearly bring out the future development of improved power system delivery in Nigeria for the next 20 years; starting from gas supply through the other power supply value chain.

Fashola stated: “The development of the master plan started in 2016. The objective of the studies is to complement the transmission rehabilitation and expansion program and power sector recovery plan by establishing the long-term generation and transmission plan that meets the forecasted national electricity demand at the lowest economic cost.

“I therefore urge the Chief Executive Officers of all generator and distribution companies to work closely with Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to ensure that the outcome of the report is carefully reviewed and practical implementation should commence after obtaining formal approval from the relevant agencies.

“With or without verification, the popular view was that TCN had only a rigid capacity to transport 5,000MW of energy and no more.

“With a mandate to improve TCN’s capacity, supported by appropriate policy approvals from Mr. President and budgetary support, that story is changing.

“The budgetary support has been most helpful; first in enabling TCN to pay warehouse and shipping companies to recover over 500 containers of goods and equipment left at the port for many years before the Buhari administration.

“Secondly, these containers and the equipment are now regularly being transported to TCN sites and substations to restart and complete transmission projects that had stalled for years.”

He disclosed that TCN’s capacity to transport energy has steadily but surely grown to 7,125MW as at December 2017.