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.
FG Mulls Introduction Of Private Firefighters
The Federal Government says it is proposing to broaden the scope of the National Fire Academy to accommodate private firefighters to address fire incidents across the country.
The plan, if carried out, would lead to the emergence of private firefighters in the country.
Speaking after his first official inspection tour of the academy, the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, said the fire service could have certified private firefighters like the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps’ private guards.
He added that private firefighters were needed to enhance the fire service’s operations as well as improve their response time.
This was contained in a statement by the Minister’s Media Adviser, Alao Babatunde, yesterday.
The statement partly read, “Today, we have over 3 million private guards certified by the NSCDC. We can have something similar for the fire service. We need private fire service men to enhance our service and response time. The President’s #RenewedHope agenda has charged us to be innovative if we must change the narrative.
“As a matter of fact, this is another innovative way to generate revenue because we expect that anyone looking to become a safety or security guard should get trained and certified by this academy.”
Tunji-Ojo urged all institutions and recreation centres to engage certified fire and safety personnel trained by the academy when the plan materialises.
He said: “A lot has been done, but there is still a lot more to be done. With what I have seen here, I can guarantee you that we will work very hard to see that this facility will not only be useful in training officers of the fire service but also for the private sector.
“We must make fire safety a personal affair. Every institution, commercial and social recreation centre should have certified fire and safety personnel, trained by this facility.
“All public and commercial buildings and infrastructure such as banks, hotels, malls, restaurants, or even government buildings should have first responders that can administer basic fire fighting remedy while waiting for the arrival of a full operation squad of the country’s Fire Service”.
Decentralise Pipeline Surveillance Contracts, Ondo Ex-Militants Urge Tinubu
A group of ex-militants in Ondo State, on Wednesday, called on President Bola Tinubu to revisit the pipeline surveillance project and decentralise the awarding of the contract.
The group, under the auspices of the Ondo State Niger Delta Coastal Vanguard, said decentralisation of the contract would enhance the security of pipelines on waterways.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the group, Chief Lucky Ajiroba.
The statement is titled, ‘Call on His Excellency President Bola Tinubu to re-visit the pipeline surveillance contract.’
The group faulted the last administration for awarding the contract to only one company, saying the purpose for which the contract was awarded was not achieved as the security situation of the pipelines was getting worse.
The statement read, “We are the members of Ondo State Niger Delta Coastal Vanguard. The group led by Akogun Job Omotuwa comprises ex-militants in the state who voluntarily submitted their arms and ammunition in response to the good gesture of the Federal Government of Nigeria under the amnesty programme in the year 2017, and we have shown our unwavering allegiance to the terms of the amnesty initiative of the government.
“The overall effects of all these are: it has increased considerably the quantum of oil production, it has substantially increased the revenue accruable to the Federation account, and ultimately it allows peaceful coexistence among the people of the oil-producing communities of the country.
“We are aware of the sterling enterprise of this administration to improve on the security architecture of the Nigeria state and all its apparatus, with a particular reference to the pipeline surveillance and secured waterways.
“The last administration made a giant stride by awarding the pipeline surveillance to a sole company in the Niger Delta Area. It is not out of place to state that the purpose upon which the contract was awarded for was not achieved as the situation of the security of the pipeline was worse than ever before since their collaborative effort was not enough to support the constituted military authorities.
“The failure of this was ascribed to the centralization of the contract. In view of this perennial failure, there has been avalanche of agitation from every quarter that the pipeline security contract should be decentralized for the purpose of achieving the desired goal of the Federal Government which is in the best interest of the entire citizens.”
The group, which commended the President for its efforts in repositioning the country’s economy, opined that each ex-militant leader in the Niger Delta Region be identified, and the pipeline security contract be split among them.
Assembly Tasks Delta Govt On Rising Prostitution, Drug Abuse
The Delta House of Assembly has passed a resolution urging the State Government to take drastic measures against rising cases of drug abuse and prostitution in the state.
This followed the adoption of a motion by Mrs Bridget Anyafulu (PDP-Oshimili South) at plenary in Asaba.
Presenting the motion, Anyafulu decried rising cases of open sex trade and use of illicit drugs among youths in the state, especially in Asaba and environs.
“Open sex trade and use of illicit drug is not a good example for our children.
“The situation is worrisome considering the fact that both issues are illegal,” she said.
Anyafulu, also the Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, Community and Social Development said that urgent measures must be taken to address the situation.
“The twin evil of drug abuse and sex trade represents great danger to the lives of our young people and the society at large.
“They both underline the physical, mental and social well-being of our young people and this will also jeopardize the development, peace and security of our dear state.
“So, I want to state that no nation survives without the youth, the youth and the young general are the life wire of our nation.
“Any nation that ignores the youth is heading for doom, so the importance of the young people cannot be over emphasized, it is therefore very important that we address this ugly trend,” she said.
Also speaking, Mr Oboro Preyor (PDP-Bomadi) decried the negative impact of rising drug abuse and prostitution, saying it must be addressed.
‘‘If this ugly trend is not addressed, it would attract more young people into their folks,’’ he said.
He also urged the government to rehabilitate youths who were addicted to drug and to create other avenues of engaging them in productive activities.
The motion was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers when put to voice vote by Speaker Dennis Guwor.
The lawmakers also called for support from law enforcement agencies to ensure the arrest and prosecution of illicit drug dealers and commercial sex workers in accordance with the law in order to curb the rising trend.
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