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Generation: Unutilised Power Rises 291% In Eight Years

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Average Nigeria’s unutilised power generation has increased year-on-year (YoY), to 3,008.18megawatts (MW) in 2021, from 1,030.80mw in 2013, indicating an increase of 291 per cent in the past eight years, due mainly to lack of infrastructure.
This showed that adequate investment has not been made over the years to transmit and distribute electricity to consumers, including households and companies after eight years of privatisation.
The latest data obtained from Electricity Generation Companies (GenCos), showed that unutilised power, which stood at 2,734.94mw in 2014, had dropped to 2,010.24mw in 2015, before rising consistently to 22,827.98mw and 3,311.92mw in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
It also rose to 3,698.51mw in 2018, dropping slightly to 3,599mw in 2019, before hovering at 3,742.43mw and 2,117.86mw in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
This has denied the nation of substantial power which could have been utilised to boost economic and other activities sector-wide.
It has also constrained GenCos from generating revenue from their unutilised power over the years, especially as data noted that although available generation capacity exceeded 5,000mw, it has not resulted in 100 per cent invoice settlement.
According to the report, “power remains a national problem, as over 40per cent of the GenCos available capacity is not being enjoyed by consumers due to constraints. However, due to system constraints, the generated power is rejected or forced to be reduced to match the infrastructure that transmits and distributes this power to the customer.
“Records show that monthly ‘unutilized capacity’ was averaging about 50per cent up until 2020 before it fell to about 30per cent in 2020 when GenCos available capacities was forced to drop because of systemic challenges.”
It noted that the “stranded capacity has consistently grown since 2013 till date, thereby making GenCos increased capacity not translating to a corresponding increase in power supply to consumers.
“It is international industry best practice in critically underserved countries, that available generation capability should be equal to average generation (energy utilised).
“In Nigeria, available generation has met increased stranded capacity as the generation PPA with NBET provides for capacity payment which is not being made.
“Citing World Bank 2021, as a result of these power challenges, about 85million people, representing 43per cent of Nigeria’s population are reportedly without access to grid electricity, making Nigeria the country with the largest energy access deficit in the world.
“This has become a big challenge and an inhibitor to the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), weakening the efforts of the generation companies in recovering unavailable capacities and exploring expansion of capacity, considering the massive fixed charges incurred to keep such units available.”
Commenting on the development, Group Managing Director, Sahara Power Group, and Chairman, Ikeja Electric Plc, Mr Kola Adesina, said: “The challenges currently hampering the power sector is the absence of a commercially viable plan.
“Those of us that have invested haven’t made money. So, why would anyone want to invest? If you want to invest, you want to first talk to the existing investors and find out whether or not they are making money.
“We are not making money. But if we arrest the issues affecting investment, there would be an improvement because money loves to go to where money is.
“So, if the sector is investment-friendly, the price of the commodity is right, policies are clear and consistent, regulations are fair and known to all, then, so much money will be available.
“Previously, until we created the Service-Based Tariff, it was taken by the system and adopted as a way of life. Where is the Service-Based Tariff when people are enjoying 20-22 hours of power? In Nigeria, that would be alien. But today, it is happening. We now have to sequence the number of hours people enjoy electricity and make them pay accordingly. So, things are getting better than they were in 2013.
“But are they as good as they should be? No. So, we are not where we wanted to be, but we are better than we were before.
“We were doing 2,200mw and 2,500mw at the time we took over. Now, we have gone to over 5,000mw. But is that the way we should have grown? No, that is slow.”
Furthermore, in an interview with Vanguard, President, Nigeria Consumer Protection Network, Kunle Kola Olubiyo called for massive investment in the transmission and distribution in order to transmit and distribute more electricity to consumers.
He said that several activities are currently scuttled in the private and public sectors because of low and unstable power supply, adding that many locally produced products and services are not competitive in the global market, due mainly to the high cost of production.

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World Bank To Fund $30bn Projects In Nigeria, Others

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The World Bank has said it is set to disburse a total of $30billion to fund existing and new projects in Nigeria and other countries as part of a global response to combat the ongoing food security crisis.
According to the bank, it is working with countries on a $12billion new projects fund for the next 15 months.
It said the projects are expected to support agriculture, social protection to cushion the effects of higher food prices, and water and irrigation projects.
It added that most of the funds would go to Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and South Asia.
The global bank disclosed this when it announced how it plans to be part of a comprehensive, global response to the ongoing food security crisis.
It stated that it intends to roll out this fund in existing and new projects in agriculture, nutrition, social protection, water, and irrigation.
It said, “This financing will include efforts to encourage food and fertiliser production, enhance food systems, facilitate greater trade, and support vulnerable households and producers.”
World Bank Group President, David Malpass, said, “Food price increases are having devastating effects on the poorest and most vulnerable.
“To inform and stabilise markets, it is critical that countries make clear statements now of future output increases in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Countries should make concerted efforts to increase the supply of energy and fertilizer, help farmers increase plantings and crop yields, and remove policies that block exports and imports, divert food to biofuel, or encourage unnecessary storage.”
The bank added that its current existing portfolio includes balances of $18.7billion in projects with direct links to food and nutrition security issues, covering agriculture and natural resources, nutrition, social protection, and other sectors.
It stated, “Altogether, this would amount to over $30billion available for implementation to address food insecurity over the next 15 months. This response will draw on the full range of Bank financing instruments and be complemented by analytical work.”

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FG Postpones FAAC Meeting Over AGF’s N80bn Probe

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The Federal Government has announced the postponement of May, 2022 Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting.
The sudden postponement may not be unconnected with the ongoing investigation of the suspended Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, over alleged fraud to the tune of N80billion.
The FAAC meeting is a monthly meeting where the federation allocates monthly revenue among the three tiers of government.
The meeting had earlier been scheduled to hold virtually between May 18 and 19, 2022.
The Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, said this in a letter signed by Director, Home Finance,Stephen Okon.
The ministry said the meeting was postponed due to “certain circumstances.
“I am directed to inform you that the Federation Account/Allocation Committee (FAAC) meetings earlier scheduled to hold/virtually on the 18th and 19th May, 2022 have been postponed due to/certain circumstances,” the circular reads.
“In view of the foregoing, I am to further inform you that the new date for the meetings will be forwarded to you in due course.
“While we regret the inconveniences this change might cause you, please accept the assurances of the Minister’s warm regards,” the letter read in part.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had on Monday arrested and detained Idris over an alleged N80billion fraud.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, announced indefinite suspension of Idris, last Wednesday.
Ahmed said the suspension “without pay” was to allow for “proper and unhindered investigation” in line with public service rules.

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Nigerian Out-Of-School Children Hit 18.5m

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Nigeria has 18.5million out-of-school children (OSC), the highest number in the world, and out of the figure, 10million are girls, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has said.
The Chief of UNICEF Field Office in Kano, Rahama Farah, stated this at a media dialogue on ‘Girls’ Education under the Girls’ Education Project 3, GEP 3’, funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), and implemented by UNICEF.
“For those lucky to be in school, their condition is also not enviable given the situation of public schools in the country. Only recently, the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), said 50per cent of schools in Nigeria lack basic furniture”Farah said.
The Executive Secretary of the commission, Hamid Bobboyi, said this in Abuja at a one-day civil society organisations’ CSO-Legislative Roundtable Meeting where some National and State Houses of Assembly members were present.
According to him, emerging constraints in basic education delivery in the country may necessitate an increase in the consolidated revenue funds from the current two per cent to four per cent.
He buttressed his position for an increase in funding on the security challenges bedevilling the country, insisting that rising student population also poses urgent need for teaching facilities.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Senate Committee on Basic Education, represented by Senator Frank Ibezim, decried the failure of State Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEBs), to sustain some UBEC-initiated projects such as classrooms and libraries earlier introduced by the commission in all constituencies in the country.
While commending UBEC over the construction of classrooms in schools across the country, he lamented the poor maintenance culture, noting that there is no school in the country that does not have a dilapidated block.
A representative of MacArthur Foundation, Mr Dayo Olaoye, called on stakeholders to review the impact of the country’s annual budget on education, stressing that it was not enough that the country is increasing its budget to the sector.
“As we think about reforms, let us think beyond buildings that have been delivered, let us start thinking about how many children have been brought to school,” he said.
“If classrooms are dilapidated, and there are not enough furniture, what about teachers and the quality of the ones available? The Registrar, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), Prof. Josiah Ajiboye, said there are over 300,000 unqualified teachers in the system.
“Education is very important to be left in the hands of quacks and that is why at TRCN, we are stepping up efforts at ridding the system of unqualified hands. We implore teachers and their employers to take advantage of the various windows TRCN is providing to improve the quality of teachers in the country so as to get better results from our education system,” he said.
For the General Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Dr Mike Ene, there is need for better funding of the education sector.
He noted that in many states, teachers are overwhelmed by the number of pupils and students they handle.
“In so many states, there is inadequacy of teachers. Some states have not recruited teachers in the last 10 years and yearly, teachers are leaving the system through retirement, resignation or even death. Worse hit by poor staffing are schools in the rural areas. Such schools are called hard-to-staff schools.”
It is in that regard that the welfare packages announced by the Federal Government are very much necessary,” he said.
Also speaking on the issue, the National President of the National Association of Parent-Teacher Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN), Alhaji Haruna Danjuma, decried the manner some state governments are implementing the Basic Education Policy of the government whereby pupils and students in primary and junior secondary schools are to enjoy free education and are given textbooks in some core subjects.
“Some states are not doing well in that respect. They have abandoned the programme. They are not funding education as it ought to be funded. Even counterpart funds that some states should put down to complement the funds from UBEC are not provided. Some states have even misused UBEC funds and are suspended from getting further grants.
“We are talking now about our tertiary institutions that are grounded by workers’ strikes, the basic education level, which is the foundation, is not faring better too. Something urgent must be done to redress the situation before the sector collapses finally,” he noted.

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