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NIEEE urges FG on power infrastructure audit

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Despite the increase in Band A electricity tariff, unreliable power supply persists.

The Nigerian Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers has urged the Federal Government to conduct a comprehensive audit of all power infrastructure across the nation. In a statement issued by President Felix Olu and shared with the media, the institute stressed the importance of assessing and evaluating the country’s electricity assets. Following a one-day conference held in Abuja by the institute, a statement was issued addressing the current electricity shortages in the country. Despite the recent increase in electricity tariffs for Band A customers announced by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), the issue of unreliable power supply was highlighted as a pressing concern.

Also, the NERC’s decision to raise rates for Band A consumers from ₦68 to ₦225 per kilowatt-hour was also referenced. DisCos is working hard to ensure that Band A customers receive the necessary supply hours. However, customers in Bands B, C, D, and E are experiencing power outages. The institute mentioned that challenges in the power sector are ingrained and that market regulations need to be completely overhauled to tackle issues revolving around stability and market inequities.

Limited infrastructure, poor service, and other factors affect the sector.

His comments focused on the various issues plaguing the power sector, such as transmission infrastructure limitations, poor quality service, DISCOs’ hesitance to take on more loads, private investors’ lack of interest in power businesses, and the overwhelming technical and commercial losses. Additionally, he stressed the importance of conducting technical audits on all power infrastructure and assets in Nigeria, including Gencos and Transco. By 31st December 2024, this will help them achieve a significant reduction of distribution (ATC&C) as well as transmission losses to 10 percent and 5 percent, respectively.

Rule-based market design lacks strict enforcement with strong penalties for those who do not follow the rules, as seen in the lack of guidelines in the Electricity Act 2023 regarding excess or insufficient power from different states and unclear roles for the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN). It was suggested that obstacles in obtaining and implementing smart prepaid meters should be eliminated, and that local meter manufacturers should be involved in the process. Additionally, it was emphasized that meter asset providers must adhere to all applicable regulatory requirements when deploying smart prepaid meters to customers.

Consistent communication and collaboration are needed among operators.

It is suggested that the technical analysis for unbundling TCN be undertaken by a skilled team of technocrats comprising engineers. The unbundling process should begin only after all states have implemented their electricity laws, and investors participating in the bidding for the unbundled entities must have a proven track record and experience in the field. The president of NIEEE emphasized the importance of consistent communication and collaboration among system operators, market operators, Gencos, Transcos, Discos, and regulators.

Furthermore, it is crucial for regulatory authorities to ensure that all entities adhere to codes, standards, and regulations in accordance with the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry requirements through regular stakeholder meetings and enforcement measures. Adherence to electricity conduct by is essential for maintaining the safety of both employees and the general public. Electricity can be extremely dangerous if not handled properly, and adherence to safety guidelines helps prevent accidents such as electrocution, fires, and equipment failures. This is crucial for ensuring the reliability of the electric grid.

Related Article: All electricity customers to move to Band A

A well-maintained and properly operated distribution system is essential for delivering a consistent and uninterrupted supply of electricity to customers. By following industry best practices and regulatory standards, distribution companies can minimize the likelihood of power outages, voltage fluctuations, and other disruptions that can impact the reliability of the electricity supply. This, in turn, helps ensure that customers have access to the electricity they need for their daily activities and businesses to operate smoothly. In addition to safety and reliability, it is also important for regulatory compliance and customer satisfaction.

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NIEEE: Website

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