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DisCos gulp N1.3trn from electricity bills in 23 months

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An estimated 12.792 million registered consumers paid at least N1.367 trillion as charges for power supply to them by the 11 Distribution Companies (DisCos) within 23 months – from November 2020 to September 2022.

According to an analysis of data published by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), the customers owe N590.6billion as debt of the entire N1.958trillion during the period.

The Nigerian Electricity Market (NEM) has experienced a huge liquidity crisis with over N1.7 trillion market shortfall. The billing and revenue collection were done according to customers’ bands with those in Band A (customers with over 20 hour daily electricity supply) getting the highest billing of N748.9billion and the highest revenue collection of N623.1billion accounting for about 45 per cent of the generated revenue. The customers however had N125.8billion as unpaid bills.

Band C (12 hours supply) had the second most billed customers with N412.5billion and the 11 DisCos receiving N255.5billion from the bill as N157billion was unpaid.

The third most billed customers were those on Band B  (16 hours supply) with N377.1billion bill but the consumers paid N268.3billion leaving N108.8billion unpaid bill.

Band D (eight hours) customers received N289.4billion bill but paid N158.6billion with N130.8billion as outstanding. N129.7bn was billed to customers under Band E (five hours supply) but this group of electricity users paid N61.9billion for the 23 months and had a debt of N67.8billion to pay to the 11 DisCos.

The lowest customer category is the ‘Lifeline’ (mostly in rural areas) getting N801.3 million bill for the 23 months but ended up paying N450.5million, and owing N350.8million.

According to the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) 2022, this set of customers who are considered to be poor, are cross-subsidised by payments from the five other customer categories.

While the billing for the five categories of electricity consumers grew significantly in 2022 from the figures earlier, the revenue collection also improved.

Analysis of the average billing trend shows that customers on Lifeline paid N15.29 per kilowatts hour (kwh) in 2022 being the lowest hourly billing but they paid N7.58/kwh and N8.24/kwh in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

The bill for band A reached N62.95/kwh in 2022 being the highest charge but customers paid about N52.38/kwh leaving a N10.57 shortfall for every one hour of electricity consumption.

Band E customers that have a lower power supply of just five hours daily got N37.93/kwh in 2022 and paid N18.52/kwh leaving a N19.41/kwh hourly debt.

Generally, consumers were billed an average of N52.74/kwh in 2022 but paid N37.45/kwh as the power firms could not get a difference of N15.29/kwh for every hour of electricity supplied to the over 12m customers for most of last year.

Energy

Diesel price stands at N1341.16 in March 2024 – NBS

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The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said that the average retail price of a litre of diesel increased from N840.81 in March 2023 to N1341.16 in March 2024.

NBS stated this in its Diesel Price Watch for March 2024 released in Abuja on Thursday.

The report said that the March 2024 price of N1341.16 per litre amounted to a 59.51 per cent increase over the N840.81 paid in March 2023.

“On a month-on-month basis, the price increased by 6.69 per cent from the N1257.06 per litre recorded in February 2024,” it added.

On state profile analysis, the report said the highest average price of diesel in March 2024 was recorded in Edo at N1566.67 per litre, followed by Jigawa at N1533.33 and Cross River at N1532.71.

It stated that the lowest price was recorded in Plateau at N1067.25 per litre, followed by Niger at N1140.00 and Adamawa at N1175.

“In addition, the analysis by zones showed that the South-South had the highest price of N1419.35 per litre, while the North-Central recorded the lowest price at N1230.98.’’

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Energy

TCN deploys technology to detect sudden drop in power generation

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The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) says it has deployed a Generation Dip/Loss Detection System (GLDS) which detects and responds to sudden drops or dips in power generation.

The General Manager, Public Affairs, TCN, Mrs Ndidi Mbah said in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday that the deployment of the GLDs was part of the company’s efforts to enhance grid management.

“As TCN continues to make efforts to enhance grid management, its engineers have recently deployed the GLDS which plays a pivotal role in detecting and responding to sudden drops or dips in power generation across the network.

“This innovation stands as a testament to TCN’s commitment to advancing grid management capabilities.

“Designed to empower the National Control Centre (NCC) in Osogbo, GLDS provides grid controllers in NCC with advanced tools for real-time monitoring and analysis of grid performance,” she said.

Mbah said that the GLDS intuitive interface allows for the setting of parameters, continuous monitoring of power generating stations, and comprehensive reporting functionalities, enabling swift responses to grid disturbances.

She said that the GLDS incorporates sophisticated data analytics and machine learning processes to analyse real-time data and identify patterns associated with sudden generation loss.

“By leveraging anomaly detection techniques, GLDS can promptly alert grid controllers on deviations from normal grid behaviour, facilitating proactive intervention to prevent widespread disruptions.

“TCN ensures seamless communication between GLDS and Internet of Things (IoT) cloud servers, enabling more rapid response and coordination of mitigation strategies.

“This connectivity underscores TCN’s commitment to enhancing grid resilience and ensuring the uninterrupted delivery of electricity to consumers across the country,” she said.

Mbah said that previously, TCN engineers had developed an in-house design that leverages IOT technology as an innovative solution in response to the challenge of limited visibility of power generators.

According to her, the IOT devices, which were strategically deployed across power stations and some substations, facilitate the collection of near real-time data, including power generation levels and grid performance metrics.

“The IOT enabled the expansion of visibility of power generating stations from 6 to 27, this has helped TCN significantly improve its ability to monitor grid load and identify potential issues before they escalate.

“Recently, the IOT device was also used to capture generation from Taopex GS and Zungeru Hydro Power Stations, bringing the total number of power stations visible to the national grid to 29.

“GLDS and the IOT represent a significant step forward in bolstering grid stability and reliability,” she said.

Mbah said that these initiatives would empower TCN’s grid controllers with the insights needed to proactively address challenges and minimise disruptions.

“As well as demonstrates TCN’s dedication to meeting the evolving demands Of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI),” she said.

 

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Energy

FG, PETAN to collaborate on oil, gas development

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The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Mr Heineken Lokpobiri has expressed the Federal Government’s readiness to collaborate with the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) to increase the country’s oil production and revenue.

Lokpobiri said that the partnership became necessary to address the dwindling oil production and the need to drive investment in the nation’s oil and gas sector.

The minister gave the assurance during his visit to members of PETAN in Lagos on Wednesday.

Lokpobiri said that the federal government was putting up measures to restore oil production, adding that there is a need for the ministry and PETAN to work together to maximise all available opportunities that can help increase production in the country.

According to him, the quickest way for the country to overcome the current economic hardship is through the exploration and production of oil and gas.

He added, therefore, that the government is actively engaged in policy evolution, aimed at maximising the utilisation of all available oil and gas wells in the country.

Lokpobiri said, “No country leaves their well idle, in Nigeria, so many seismic activities have been done and we have a lot of oil wells that are yet to be utilised.

“Imagine, one of the OML’s has about 150 idle wells. There is no way we can increase production if these wells continue to be idle.

“The wells have already been drilled and capped since the 1970s. These are low-hanging fruits.

“Part of our policy direction is to see how we can farm out some of these idle wells for proper utilisation.

“Now that the world is transitioning to cleaner energy, the country must use the available time to maximise the utilisation of the wells to increase production.

‘’Except we increase our production, our midstream and downstream will continue to suffer.

“So, I believe that I and PETAN need to work together so that we can maximise the opportunities the industry can avail us, for the economic prosperity and development of the nation,” he added.

Lokpobiri said he had made a strong commitment to work with PETAN and other Nigerians in the oil and gas sector, who have shown proven capacity to ensure the growth of the sector.

He expressed conviction that the solution to Nigeria’s energy poverty lies with every stakeholder.

He noted that nobody or nation would come to salvage the nation’s oil and gas industry except Nigerians.

The Minister said if Nigerians are allowed to play at the desirable level, there will be a lot of improvement in the petroleum sector.

He also pointed out that the essence of the Local Content Law was to enable Nigerians to build strong capacity to be able to play side-by-side with their international counterparts.

“In line with NUPRC’s statutory declaration, Nigeria now boasts of 37.5 billion crude oil reserves, while its total gas resources as of the beginning of this year, now stands at 209.26 TCF.”

The Minister said the President Bola Tinubu-led administration was doing all it could to take the nation to a better economic standing in the comity of the nations.

He affirmed that one of the cardinal points of the president was to address the nation’s energy poverty, noting that as the world is transiting, the nation must address its challenges to enable it transit as well.

Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of PETAN, Mr Wole Ogunsanya, reiterated the association’s commitment to supporting the minister and all the efforts of President Tinubu toward increasing oil production and development of the energy sector.

He also called on the government to see how it could grant incentives to stakeholders to ensure better output and economic benefit for the industry and the nation at large.

Ogunsanya said, “Honourable Minister, we thank you and assure you that we will continue to align ourselves with the vision of the president.

“And as we have continually said, the nation must show its indigenous capacity to explore and drill oil 100 percent.”

He expressed PETAN members’ readiness to help in the development of the Nigerian oil and gas sector.

Also speaking, the Publicity Secretary of PETAN,  Dr Innocent Akuvue, thanked the minister for making out time to visit the association.

He assured the minister of the association’s support to the ministry always.

“Minister, we thank you for this wonderful visit and we want to assure you that PETAN is solidly behind you and Mr President.

“By God’s grace we will not fail to support the vision and aspirations of the president in boosting the economic situation of the country,” he said.

PETAN is an association of Nigerian indigenous technical oilfield service companies in the upstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry.

The association was formed to bring together Nigerian oil and gas entrepreneurs to create a forum for the exchange of ideas with the major operators and policymakers.

One of the association’s core objectives is to plan on how to acquire, develop, advance and promote petroleum technology for the benefit of Nigerians.

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