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Unmetered Power Consumers Drop To 7.74m

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An analysis of data from the just-released second quarter 2022 report of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and its first quarter 2022 report shows a marginal reduction in the number of unmetered power consumers across the country.
Figures from the reports indicated that unmetered power users dropped from 7,802,427 in the first quarter of last year to 7,744,909 in the second quarter, indicating a reduction of 57,518.
Providing updates on customer complaints in the latest second quarter report, the NERC said, “In 2022/Q2, cumulatively, the Discos received 251,007 complaints from consumers, amounting to 7,620 (+3.13 per cent) more complaints than those received in 2022/Q1.”
The commission noted that “metering, billing, and service interruption were the prevalent sources of customer complaints, accounting for more than 72 per cent of the total complaints during the quarter”.
It added, “The commission has introduced initiatives to address this category of complaints such as the independent verification of Discos compliance with the capping regulation that protects unmetered customers from over-billing.”
The power sector regulator, however, stated that the Discos resolved 231,905 complaints during the review period, corresponding to a 92.39 per cent resolution rate.
On metering in the second quarter of last year, the commission said, “The huge metering gap for end-use customers remains a key challenge in the industry – it is estimated that of the 12,643,630 registered energy customers as at June 2022, only 4,898,721 (38.74 per cent) have been metered.
“A total of 167,956 meters were installed in 2022/Q2 compared  to the 85,510 meters installed in 2022/Q1. By comparison, the net metering rate increased from 37.79 per cent metering in March 2022 to 38.74 per cent in June 2022.
“The meter installations increased compared to 2022/Q1 despite the winding down of the National Mass Metering Program phase 02 as a result of the uptake of the Meter Asset Provider metering scheme by most Discos.”
The commission said it had continued to engage relevant stakeholders to ensure month-on-month increments in metering rate, while instituting safeguards against over-billing of unmetered customers by setting maximum limits to the amount of energy that might be billed to an unmetered customer every month.
The President, Nigeria Consumer Protection Network, and coordinator, Power Sector Perspectives, Kunle Olubiyo, had kicked against the projection of the Federal Government on its plan to deploy six million meters before June.
He also told The Tide source that the in-coming government must take a holistic look at the power sector, stressing that a lot of things had gone wrong in the industry.
Olubiyo particularly noted that the privatisation of the successor distribution and generation companies of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria in November 2013, should be reviewed.
This, he said, was particularly due to the dysfunctional outputs of the power distributors since they were privatised, adding that the 10-year moratorium on power sector privatisation would end this year.
“When this moratorium expires by October, naturally it will be without litigation because they’ve given the privatised companies 10 years. And so if in between the lines we try to shift the goal post, then litigation can arise.
“If not for the activities of the banks that are now involved in the day-to-day running of some Discos, there is no way we would have been able push out this height of impunity in the sector. People make as much as N15bn in a month and they will still have a licence for zero remittance”.

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Trade Modernisation: Customs’ CG Tours Huawei, Port In China

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The Comptroller-General  of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Adewale Adeniyi, recently led his team to the Headquarters of Huawei, a famous information and communications technology company in Shenzhen, China, where he discussed opportunities embedded in Nigeria Customs Service Trade Modernisation Project.
This was disclosed in a press release made available to our correspondent in Lagos by the National Public Relations Officer (NPRO) of the Service, CSC Maidawa yesterday.
According to the release, the CGC’s visit to Huawei Headquarters was part of his official visit to the People’s Republic of China for the 6th Global AEO Conference that took place in the city of Shenzhen between Wednesday, 8th May, Friday, 10 May, 2024.
Stating the purpose of his visit to the company’s office on behalf of his team, CGC Adeniyi said, “We are also delighted to associate with the Global Leader Technology Services through the Team of Trade Modernisation.”
It would be recalled that the Service had, during the Huawei Connect 2023 held in Shanghai in October, 2023, expressed readiness to deploy some of the company’s latest products for use in its trade modernisation project.
The CGC, who urged Huawei’s company leadership to sustain their digitalisation services to NCS, also sought their support to collaborate with the Nigeria Customs Service to maintain their transformative journey with the company.
On his part, Xujing Xu, the Huawei Company’s Vice President of Smart Transportation, welcomed the delegation of the NCS led by Adeniyi and the Management Team of the Trade Modernisation Project (TMP) Limited, led by Chairman Saleh Ahmadu.
He expressed confidence that their collaboration will benefit all parties involved, noting that “the foundational work for this transformation is already underway”.
The TMP Chairman, Saleh Ahmadu, during his address, said Huawei is living up to expectations to deliver its mandate under the auspices of Trade Modernisation Project Limited.
He appreciated the support accorded to him by the CGC and his management team towards the success of the NCS Trade Modernisation Project.
In his bid to upscale the level of NCS modernisation, the Comptroller-General of Customs, alongside members of the Trade Modernisation Project led by Chairman Saleh Ahmadu, visited Lantan Port to witness the level of automation and technological solutions provided by Huawei and other tech partners.

In a related development, a training programme on Trends and Digital Solutions for Customs officials and the TMP team was organised by Huawei the same day, which focused on equipping officials with the necessary skills to navigate the digital landscape of modern trade.

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NERC Declares Most Discos Insolvent 

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Most of the lectricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) in Nigeria have been said to be technically insolvent and unable to not only pay for invoices sent to them from the electricity market, but also invest in network expansion projects.
Speaking at the 8th Africa Energy Market Place 2024 in Abuja, Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Engr. Sanusi Garba, said the poor financial state of the DisCos makes it difficult for them to raise the needed capital to invest.
Garba noted that the challenges facing the sector were a culmination of past inactions and missteps by those saddled with the responsibilities of managing the sector, both at policy and operational levels.
According to him, “Today when you look at distribution companies, they are clearly and technically insolvent, and you also want them to raise capital in terms of debt or equity. It’s a herculean task.
“I also want to mention that implementing the power sector reform requires powerful political will to implement decisions that impact the wider public”.
On his part, the Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, said the government was working to get the distribution companies solvent and effective by unbundling their operations along state boundaries.
Adelabu insisted that the areas covered by the current DisCos are too large for them to deliver effective services to consumers.

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PH To Get Two CNG Refuelling Stations, Vehicle Conversion Parks

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Rivers State Capital, Port Harcourt, is set to have two Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) refuelling stations as well as two Vehicle Conversion Parks.
The Chief Executive Officer, FEMADEC Energy Limited, Fola Akinola, revealed this at the South-South/South-East Stakeholders Engagement Meeting on Presidential Initiative on CNG held in Port Harcourt, Weekend
Akinola, who stated that modalities have been concluded on the project, stressed the need for investment by stakeholders as a way of driving home the initiative of the Federal Government to ease the gas plight of its citizens.
Akinola said, “CNG is an old technology. We want to tell you that you have the opportunity to convert your vehicle from fuel to CNG. The stations will be launched in Port Harcourt and we are launching a refueling unit alongside. Rivers State is going to have a micro refuelling unit at Stadium Road and in GRA.
“For those that want to invest in CNG refuelling units, it is available. Even those who have fuel station facilities can as well invest in this”.
Earlier, the Programme Director, Presidential Initiative on Compressed Natural Gas, Michael Oluwagbemi, noted that Rivers State was the heart of oil and gas Region, insisting that the initiative was for the good of the nation as a whole.
“The initiative of the government is critical to our national development and to the well-being of the people. Rivers State is the heart of the oil and gas region”, he stated.
Oluwagbemi, however, expressed regret that over the last five to six decades, these resources have continued to waste.
“Nigeria is the second largest waste of oil and gas. We exploit it and waste it, then continue to suffer poverty. The President has set us on natural gas features and set up the nation on the path of growth. The use of gas ensures we have energy savings. Mind you, the price of Natural gas is controlled by the government.
“What the President is asking is to do more with the blessings God has given us. If we are able to move three million vehicles in the next three years, we are going to end the era of environmental degradation”, he said.
The Programme Director further said, “We will stop subsidising poverty, importing unemployment and exporting jobs.

By: Lady Godknows Ogbulu

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