Electricity: DISCOs planning for two million households in Nigeria

Electricity: DISCOs planning for two million households in Nigeria

Despite the electricity challenges currently affecting the business climate of Nigeria, a fresh indication has emerged that the Distribution Companies, DISCOs, is making adequate plans for two million Nigerians out of over 200 million populace in the country.

iBrandTV also gathered that the 11 DISCOs does not have the original data of Nigerian households connected to their network, as they rely on extrapolating figures.

Currently, the maximum amount of electricity ever distributed nationwide is 4,685mw which was achieved on the 17th of April 2020, while the highest generated is 5,375mw achieved on the 7th of February, 2019.

At the interim, the daily average electricity been distributed to households by the DISCOs hovers 4,000mw and below.

In an interview on Thursday in Abuja, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Sen. Gabriel Suswam has said that there was no data for planning to ensure adequate supply of electricity to citizens.

According to him, “When you don’t have data how do you plan. We have over 200 million and we are planning for two million.

“We can’t meet up so we need quality data with integrity. Not just people sitting in their rooms and extrapolating on what is the data.

READ ALSO: Electricity: President Buhari, NASS agree to delay tariff hike till 2021

“Lack of data in the power sector is a problem. Once you have data you can now plan and know how many people are on the national grid; how many people are  metered and how many people are not metered so that you can meter them and then you can now know exact quality of power you are sending to them.”

Suswam, who represents PDP-Benue North-East, while noting that Nigeria’s population was increasing said that stakeholders in the sector were not structuring the planning to be in consonance with the increase in population. 

“So we need to be on the same table to plan ourselves properly otherwise we cannot now say that it is okay we are generating 13, 000 megawatts for 200 million.”

He said that part of the committee’s oversight function was to ensure efficient  utilisation of funds appropriated to managers of the value chain in the power sector but however, regulating the agencies effectively was a task that needed to be handled by the National Assembly

“The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) quote and unquote is suppose to be an independent body to regulate the power sector.

“But in all developing economies similar regulators have not had the independence that they should have and the reason been political.

“Because when it comes to tariff, which is an issue in all developing economies, increase in tariff is what people resist vehemently and so NERC is not completely as independent as it is supposed to be. It has to ponder to the people who appoint them.

“That is why to regulate the sector effectively will be difficult because there are interference, for instance, the National Assembly just interfered and is based on the political consequence of their action.

“We as politicians look at the political consequence, they are looking at the economic consequence. And so if the polity is unstable of course the economy will not operate as well.

“So it is difficult to have an independent regulator in the power sector in a developing economy,” he said.

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