Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC has disclosed that the nation’s 11 Electricity Distribution Companies, DISCOs’debts to Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader, NBET, and Market Operator, MO, are still below 30 percent as they paid only N51.2 billion of the N163.1 billion issued to them in the first quarter of 2018, Q1’18.
NERC, which confirmed this in its Q1’18 report, obtained yesterday, also stated that only two of the 11 DISCOs in the country have metered up to 50 per cent of electricity customers under their coverage areas.
It disclosed that despite several intervention funds made available to the DISCOs as well as over estimated billing of consumers, the DISCOs have not yet been able to settle huge debt and metered their customers because of problem of cash.
The report stated: “This serious liquidity challenge is partly attributed to non-cost-reflective tariffs, and high technical and commercial losses aggravated by consumers’ apathy to payment arising from estimated billing and poor quality of supply in most load centres. “Of the N171.1 billion billed to customers in the first quarter of 2018, only N106.6 billion was recovered, representing 62.3 percent collection efficiency.
‘’Therefore, of every N10 worth of electricity sold during the quarter under review, N3.8 is uncollected. “The liquidity challenge in Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, NESI, was further reflected in the DISCOs’ remittances relative to NBET’s and MO’s invoices. “In the first quarter of 2018, whereas DISCOs were issued a total invoice of N163.1 billion for energy received from NBET and for the service charge by MOs, only N51.2billion (31.4 percent) was settled by DISCOs, creating a huge shortfall of N112.0 billion.
“Similar to 2017Q4, none of the DISCOs settled up to half of its market invoices in Q1’18. Only Eko and Ikeja DISCOs settled up to 45 percent of their market invoices, all other DISCOs settled below 40 percent of their invoices.” Although the overall market remittance improved from 24% in 2 Q4’17 to 31 percent in the first quarter of 2018, the remittance performance is still significantly low.
“The overall remittance to NBET for the first quarter of 2018 was just 27% of the total energy invoice, an increase of 6% from the remittance performance in Q4’17. Similar to the Q4’17, Market Operator received 40 percent remittance of the invoice issued for service charge during the Q1’18.
“In the period under review, the total invoice issued to international customers, Beninois Electricity Community and Nigerien Electricity Society (CEB/SAKETE and NIGELEC) and special customer (Ajaokuta) stood at ¦ 12.2billion. However no payment was received from these customers.
“The Commission notes that the Nigerian government has continued to engage governments of the neighbouring countries to ensure payments for the electricity purchased. Although the low remittance by DISCOs to NBET and MOs is partly due to low collection and existing tariff shortfall, the Commission has observed that on their part, the DISCOs seem to have capped their monthly remittance thereby keeping more than their fair share from the market funds.”
Nigeria In Trouble As Oil Price Crashes Below $20
Oil price fell below $20 a barrel yesterday, after the International Energy Agency (IEA) said demand would slump by a record this year despite a historic production cut deal.
Futures fell as much as 4.5% in New York to the lowest since 2002.
Oil demand will drop by over 9 million barrels a day this year, wiping out a decade of consumption growth, the IEA said, exhausting storage by mid-year.
While Saudi Arabia and other Gulf producers have pledged to cut supply starting next month, they have continued to flood the market in April.
Stockpiles are rising everywhere and weakening key physical market gauges. New York oil futures moved deeper into contango, signaling an expanding glut, while swap prices indicate North Sea cargoes are trading at bumper discounts.
Oil has lost about two-thirds of its value this year as countries extend their coronavirus lockdowns, death tolls mount around the world and unemployment explodes in America.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated the global economy will shrink 3% this year, a signal that energy demand may remain weak, while the IEA is warning that the worst may be yet to come.
“We may see further downward pressure on prices in coming days and weeks,” IEA Executive Director, Fatih Birol, said.
The IEA said consumption in April will fall by almost a third to the lowest level since 1995, and make this year the worst in the history of the oil market.
Despite OPEC+’s efforts to balance supply, global inventories will accumulate by 12 million barrels a day in the first half of the year and “overwhelm the logistics of the oil industry” in the coming weeks, it warned.
The massive OPEC+ deal to cut production starts next month. Until then the battle for market share persists with Abu Dhabi cutting its crude pricing for Asia. It follows a similar move by Saudi Arabia earlier in the week.
NUPENG Lauds Members Over Petrol Supply Amid Lockdown
The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), has commended its members on essential services for ensuring uninterrupted supply of petroleum products to every nooks and crannies of the country during the lockdown occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The union, however, decried the harassment and intimidation of oil company workers by security agents, calling on oil companies and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to provide adequate security passes for the workers.
NUPENG in a statement by its President and General Secretary, Prince Williams Akporeha and Olawale Afolabi, respectively, said petroleum tanker drivers, petrol station workers, petroleum products depot workers, oil and gas suppliers, and liquefied petroleum gas retailers, had made NUPENG and the entire labour movement proud as they moved through difficult and dangerous situations to ensure fuel supply to Nigerians.
The statement read in part: “The leadership of NUPENG has reviewed the roles of our members in the frontline in this critical period as Nigerians fight to contain the spread of the deadly and contagious coronavirus pandemic and we are proud to say our members on essential services have made us proud.
“In fact, not only have they made NUPENG and the United Labour Congress of Nigeria proud, our petroleum tanker drivers and others have made the entire labour movement proud by continuing to ensure uninterrupted supply of petroleum products to every nooks and crannies of the country despite the difficult and sometimes, dangerous situations as most states across the country are on lockdown.
“Once again, we appeal to state governments, security agents and Nigerians in general to cooperate with members of our unions who are risking their lives to provide essential services in the nation.”
NUPENG also appealed to corporate organisations to provide sanitisers and other safety kits to members of the union on essential services, to protect them and members of their families.
It stated: “We want to use the opportunity to call on oil companies and the DPR to provide adequate pass to our members on essential services to end the harassment and intimidation they are being subjected to by security agents across the country.”
FG Releases N200bn To Improve Power Sector
Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari, says the Federal Government has made payment of over N200 billion to the power sector towards improving electricity supply in the country.
Kyari disclosed this while speaking with newsmen in Abuja, yesterday, shortly after a closed door meeting between the NNPC team, Minister of Power, Mr Sale Mamman and Managing Director of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Mr Usman Mohammed.
“Actually the Federal Government has made payment of over N200 billion for power in the last 23 days and this will go a long way to ensure that issues around power supply are addressed.
“We will work as a team to ensure that all issues are settled”, he said.
Kyari said that the team was in the Ministry of Power to inform the minister that in the last one or two months and particularly during the COVID-19 period, NNPC has increased gas supply to the power sector.
According to him, there will be significant improvement in power generation in all Federal Government and associated power facilities.
“This also means that Nigerians will get better access to power during this lockdown period and going forward.
“There are issues around power supply process and we have discussed most of them and we are moving as a team to make sure that we resolve issues around payment and evacuation.
“We are very confident that this will get the desired result. We will visit some power plants tomorrow to make sure that we sort out any issue to ensure that Nigerians have access to better power,” he said.
He said that the minister was very clear on what was to be done to improve power supply.
“We will make sure this becomes transparent and obvious to all Nigerians,” he said.
On his part, TCN Managing Director, Mr Usman Mohammed said that the meeting was to ensure that there was constant supply of power as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mohammed said that the President has directed that there should be constant power supply to the people during the COVID-19 lockdown.
“This is why this meeting was conveyed by the Minister of Power to discuss supply of gas to the power plants.
“This is very important, before now, we have been discussing with NNPC, of course there is gas availability in the market but there are several power plants that don’t have gas and that is a big problem for us.
“With this meeting where the minister prevailed that NNPC should assist in suppling gas to the power plants, we believe that will have steady and sustainable power supply going forward especially during the COVID-19 lockdown, “ he said.
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