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11 DISCOs Still Owe NBET, MO N112bn – NERC

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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.”

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Oil & Energy

NUPENG Decries Poor State Of East/West Road

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The National Union of Petroleum, Energy and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG)  has expressed concern over the deplorable state of the East/West Road and called on the Federal Government to fix the road to alleviate the plight of its users.
Chairman of the Port Harcourt zone of NUPENG,  Comrade Mina Samuel, who raised the concern in Port Harcourt at the weekend, said the poor state of the road has affected the smooth operation of its members who now find it extremely difficult to ply the route .
He said the damaged portions of the road had made its members prone to accidents and other hazards because of the difficulties of conveying heavy trucks with products.
“The poor state of the East/West road has become worrisome to our members and other road users. It’s regrettable that the road which is a major route to the economic hub of the  nation is abandoned, it’s a pathetic situation to see stranded commuters in heavy traffics on the road on daily basis, I want to use this opportunity to call on the  Federal Government to urgently fix the road and save the lives of its users”, he said.
The NUPENG chairman said the fixing of the road would not only avert accidents but also save man hour and generate more revenue for the government.
Some tanker drivers who spoke with The Tide during a visit to the road said the damaged spots and deep craters particularly within the Akpajo/Refinery axis had caused severe obstructions to them while conveying product-laden trucks.
“We face serious challenges everyday to drive through the road, sometimes our trucks fall along the way and this is very risky because of possible explosion. We want the government to repair the road to save the road users from the challenges they face everyday. A journey of just 40 minutes now takes two to three hours, the suffering is too much,” one of the tanker drivers said.

 

Taneh Beemene

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Oil & Energy

Insecurity: IPMAN Seeks Protection Of Filling Stations

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The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has raised alarm over the incessant security threats and robbery attacks on filling stations in Rivers State.
Rivers State Chairman of IPMAN (Port Harcourt depot), Comrade Emmanuel Inimgba, raised the alarm while speaking with The Tide during  an interview in Port Harcourt at the  weekend.
He said filling station owners are now endangered species as their investments are now targets of robbery  attacks, noting that the ugly trend has negatively affected their businesses.
He said the use of POS had assisted to an extent but filling stations were still prone to robbery attacks especially in the night.
Comrade Inimgba further hinted that  filling station business was capital intensive as most of the members of the association obtained loan facilities from banks and are under obligation to pay back.
The IPMAN chairman, who commended the efforts of the  Rivers State governor, Chief Nyesom  Wike towards promoting security in the state, pledged the commitment of the association in the area of security and appealled to the state government to  create a special security unit to protect the investment of filling station owners. According to him, it is only in a conducive and peaceful environment that the filling station owners can render effective services to the public.
He also expressed concern over the poor state of refineries in the country, particularly the Port Harcourt Refinery which he noted was in a state of comatose.
Comrade Inimgba, urged the Federal Government to revamp all the ailing refineries and build more modular refineries in the Niger Delta region to  deliver effective services and create gainful employment for the youths in the region.
Ahead of the yuletide, he said the independent marketers, as key stakeholders in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry, were poised to render effective services and urged the relevant agencies to ensure product availability  during the festive season to avoid scarcity and hoarding of products.
He also assured to give all the independent marketers fair treatment in the lifting of products.

 

Taneh Beemene

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Oil & Energy

Don Wants Stiffer Penalties Against Illegal Bunkering

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A university don, Dr Steve Wordu, has canvassed stiffer penalties as part of measures to curb the menace of illegal bunkering and oil pollution in the Niger Delta.
Dr Wordu, who disclosed this  in an interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt at the weekend said the activities of oil bunkering and pipeline vandalisation in the Niger Delta had become most alarming and worrisome thereby requiring urgent attention.
He noted that, apart from the damage inflicted on the natural environment as a result of oil bunkering and pipeline vandalisation, lives were also lost in the process.
“Illegal bunkering and pipeline vandalisation have caused severe pains to the people of the Niger Delta. The acts have continued unabated and  it’s quite regrettable that no stiffer measures have been put in place to tackle the menace.
“The Niger Delta environment is under permanent attack and the people are losing their natural means of livelihood. Many lives have been lost as a result of pipeline explosions. These are pathetic situations that need to be properly addressed.”
Dr Wordu, who is also a lecturer in the Department of Environmental Sociology at the University of Port Harcourt, commended the efforts of some security agencies such as the Navy and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, (NSCDC) in tackling illegal bunkering, but called for a more proactive approach and punitive measures to give a lasting solution to the menace.
He also advocated for an intensive environmental awareness campaign in the Niger Delta, noting that most of the damage done to the environment were as a result of ignorance.
“There is need for a new awareness towards the environment;  the indiscriminate burning and wastage of oil and gas reserves and other natural resources  is a disservice to the existence of the people of the Niger Delta who depend 100 percent on their natural environment for their daily survival,” he said.

 

Taneh Beemene

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