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DISCOS confirm electricity tariff hike

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The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED),  an association of the 11 electricity distribution companies(DISCOS) in Nigeria, has confirmed that the silent electricity tariff increase only affected customers in Band A and C, while customers under other bands are not affected.

Executive Director, Research and Advocacy at ANED, Sunday Oduntan made this known in a live telecast on Lagos Television (LTV) Morning Delight on Wednesday.

According to him, the reasons for the increase include inflation, foreign exchange, underinvestment as well as rising operational cost affecting all players in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).

There are five distinctive bands,  (A,B,C,D,E) reflecting the various service levels and minimum hours of power supply. Customers on “Band A” enjoy a daily minimum supply of 20 hours and Band B with a minimum of 16 hours per day. Others are C, D, and E with the minimum of 12, 8, and 4  hours of electricity per day

Oduntan said, “The electricity  Distribution Companies (DisCos), and electricity tariff are impacted by the macroeconomic challenges facing Nigeria.

“There is a need to invest more in capital expenditure for the daily improvement in power supply across the network, hence the increase.

“There is no way to separate the impact of inflation and foreign exchange from the general operations in the power sector since about 70 per cent of the infrastructure used in the power sector is imported. into the country,” the Executive Director said.

He further noted that  the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) silently effect the increase in December 2022 affecting band A and B, as part of a five-year Multi-Year Tariff Order that was done last year, effective January 1, 2022.

He said, “Prior to that, there were public consultations in line with the law all over the country carried out by the regulator. They are the ones that set the tariff.

“The notice was also issued NERC’s official website on May 4, 2022, showing the tariff that will commence from 2022 to 2026.”

According to him, the notice of the regulator was clear about the plant to effect the biannual tariff review in June and December 2022.

The Executive Director further blamed NERC for not making an official statement announcing the proposed tariff hike before going ahead, insisting that notice should have been given to the concerned customers prior to the increase.

Oduntan further revealed that an increase in bands A and B is meant to guarantee at least 20 hours of electricity or more, without a major increase on other banks since the hike does not affect them.

“The hike is one of the measures required to address poor power supply to customers. The present tariff rate being paid by most customers is not a true reflection of market dynamics.

“We realised that NERC does not want to bring a huge hike in tariffs at once; it will be difficult for people to cope. What you pay now depends on how many hours of energy you get,” Oduntan disclosed.

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Energy

NIPCO Gas to accelerate AutoCNG to foster eco-friendly, sustainable future

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…Bags industry award as Innovative Gas Company

In its bid to prioritise innovation and ecological stewardship in Nigeria, NIPCO Gas Limited has affirmed its determination to drive positive transformation in the country’s energy industry by advocating for cleaner options like AutoCNG to foster a more eco-friendly and sustainable future.

Managing Director of NIPCO Gas Limited, Nagendra Verma, stated this in his acceptance speech on the occasion of conferment of Innovative Gas Company of the Year on the company by Energy Times Newspaper in Lagos over the weekend.

Verma explained that the company has done remarkably well in its efforts to deep deeping gas utilisation as an alternative automotive fuel, and at the same time, focusing on expanding the country’s gas infrastructure.

While speaking on the award bestowed on his company, the Managing Director said that this reflected NIPCO Gas’ humble contributions to the nation’s gas sector within the hydrocarbon industry.

Verma stated, “The accolade of Most Innovative Gas Company of the Year aptly acknowledges our endeavours in the gas sector, marked by the launch of our inaugural Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) station in Benin City, Edo State, in 2009.

“The honour serves as recognition of our steadfast commitment to deepen  gas utilisation as an alternative automotive fuel.

“The distinguished award also underscores NIPCO Gas’s firm unwavering focus to expanding the country’s gas infrastructure.”

NIPCO Gas Limited’s managing director however, opined that the gas company stands as a prominent energy enterprise, devoted to providing dependable and sustainable energy solutions to Nigerian communities.

According to him, “Reflecting our commitment to capitalising on the nation’s gas potential, we have consistently invested substantial human and material resources in developing infrastructures that bolster viable energy alternatives for both motorists and industrial applications.”

While highlighting the recent partnership between NNPC Limited and NIPCO Gas Limited, Verma noted that it was aimed at establishing more CNG stations nationwide. He added that this significant venture would enhance Nigeria’s CNG framework, broaden CNG availability, and foster the transition to a more affordable and eco-friendly fuel alternative for various vehicles.

To him, “The initiative, introduced by NNPC Limited’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mallam Mele Kyari, is set to offer diverse fuel choices to Nigerians in the wake of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) subsidy removal.”

The goal is to create a network of CNG stations throughout the country. “Under the partnership NIPCO Gas has committed construction of 35 CNG Stations initially across states of Nigeria. “Presently, NIPCO Gas Limited has 16 CNG outlets and has successfully converted over 8,000 vehicles to CNG.”

While receiving the award, Verma said, “Receiving this award motivates us to further contribute to the industry’s expansion in every aspect. Our commitment to the nation’s progress, particularly in the gas segment of the hydrocarbon industry, remains steadfast.

“This accolade is a tribute to the dedication of my colleagues at NIPCO Gas Limited, whose relentless pursuit of excellence has significantly shaped our company’s impressive growth over time.”

In his welcome address at the event,  the Chairman Editorial Board, Energy Times, Alhaji Yakubu Lawal, said the award is meant to appreciate and recognise those individuals and companies whose works have in one way or the other impacted on the nation’s development  coting  NIPCO as pioneers  in the  Auto CNG sector.

While speaking on NIPCO Gas Limited’s award prize, Lawal said, “NIPCO has performed excellently which led to NNPC & Federal Government partnering with her to grow gas infrastructure to enable motorists and industries alike to have access to gas as auto fuel.

“The company’s expertise would add value to the nation’s efforts  to harness the abundant gas resources  in the country as alternative fuel to petrol,” he alluded.

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Dangote refinery to begin petrol sales in Q4, 2024 — Expert

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Dangote refinery will start supplying petrol in the fourth quarter of 2024, according to Standard and Poor’s Global Commodities, S & P.

Kelly Norways, an African energy expert at the S&P, disclosed this in a podcast titled ‘Exploring West Africa’s oil product flows in a changing refining landscape.’

She said the Dangote refinery will significantly reduce energy imports across the West African sub-region, putting the figure for petrol as 290,000 barrels daily from 2024 to 2026.

“We are starting to see signs of activities, but all eyes are on when we will start to see gasoline production commence from that project.

“There is significant pressure from the Nigerian government for a significant volume of that supply to be sent to the domestic market.

“When we see that start scale-up is still subject to debate. Dangote has recently been espousing some punchy timelines.

“They have most recently been saying that they are looking to produce gasoline by May. But in reality, our analysts expect that it would be something like the fourth quarter of this year in a more realistic timeline,” he said.

The Dangote refinery was officially commissioned in May 2023 but has been unable to operate at full capacity. However, it began receiving crude oil around December and finally started distributing diesel to marketers in the local market in March.

Last week, the refinery announced the reduction in diesel price to N1,000 per litre from N1,600 per litre.

Meanwhile, the Dangote refinery and oil marketers have hinted at the commencement of petrol sales next month.

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FG plans to achieve 6000 megawatts by end of 2024 – Minister

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Minister of Power, Mr Adebayo Adelabu says the Federal Government plans to increase power generation from 4000 Megawatts to  6000 by the end of 2024 to boost electricity.

Adelabu said this in Abuja on Monday, when the members of the Senate Committee on Power visited the Ministry.

The minister said the Federal Government plans to achieve the 6000 megawatts of power using the hydro and solar plants to increase supply of electricity to households and businesses.

He described as unfortunate and sad, situation that the highest electricity currently being generated stood at only 5800 megawatts.

“The infrastructure are lying there, without adequate maintenance, the turbines are getting rust.

”With proper investment put in place, we can generate 6000 megawatts before the end of 2024,”he said.

The minister also said that the Federal Government was also going to transform the Electricity Distribution Companies, (DisCos) ad,ding that they were the last mile in the power supply industry.

According to him, if they don’t perform, it means the entire power sector is not performing.

“We are putting pressure on the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to ensure that the DisCos sit up and if they have to withdraw their licenses for not performing, why not.

“We are unbundling the DisCos along state lines as some of them are too big for efficiency and effectiveness.

“Some of them are serving so many states, so we are rearranging and restricting the DisCos along state lines, so that each state government will know the distribution company responsible for their states,”he said.

The minister said it was time the federal and state governments start exercising their rights in the management and operations of the power sector.

“We have left it for the private sector for too long and they have messed it up.

“We also plan to franchise the DisCos, so that we can have smaller DisCos that are ready to invest,”he said.

Earlier, Sen. Eyinnaya Abaribe, Chairman of the Committee, said they were in the ministry for an oversight function.

Abaribe said that the oversight visit became necessary to find out the challenges that have led to poor supply of electricity to Nigerians and also the reasons for the consistent collapses of the national grid.

He said the committee in pursuant to the rules and regulations of the National Assembly had already invited the ministry of power and its parastatals  for an investigative hearing on the increase in tariff by April 29.

Abaribe said, “This is with regards to payment for power by Nigerians, so, we won’t want to discuss that before the date.”

”’The committee has already invited the minister and his agencies to discuss the issue of increase in tariff extensively with the committee.”

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