Nigerians are expected to enjoy improved power supply in the coming weeks owing to the return of the rainy season and the resultant decline in water constraints suffered by hydro power plants, a report by the Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) has predicted.
This is coming as an electricity distribution company (Disco) has decried the unwillingness amongst consumers under its network to register and be metered under the federal government’s National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) despite the fact that the programme does not entail upfront payment.
The FDC, in its economic bi-monthly update made available to newsmen, however, warned that gas shortages would remain the principal challenge to power producers as gas fired thermal power plants account for approximately 70 per cent of total power generation.
“The rainy season has commenced and we expect water constraints to decline significantly and a gradual pickup in hydro power. This is expected to boost power output in the coming weeks.
“However, gas shortages will remain the principal challenge as gas fired thermal power plants account for approximately 70 per cent of total power generation,” the research and financial advisory firm stated.
It noted that with water constraints falling, an increase in hydropower generation would increase available power supply and reduce the demand for alternative energy like diesel or fuel-powered generators.
It recalled that in February 2021, the average on-grid power output was 4,559MWh/h, 1.40 per cent higher than the average of 4,496MWh/h recorded in the corresponding period in January.
The FDC attributed major constraints to power sector to gas and water distribution challenges, which have restrained the ability of the Distribution Companies (Discos) from generating power optimally.
“Total constraints for the review period averaged 1,881MWH/H. So far in March, power output averaged 4,693MWh/h with a total constraint of 1,902MWH/H. During this period, Geregu, Omotosho, and Afam VI NIPP plants were the most affected by the gas constraints while Shiroro Plant had the highest high level of water constraints,” the report stated.
Meanwhile, in what could be described as an irony, electricity consumers who have been complaining of high estimated billings from their distributions companies due to lack of meters, have refused to register to be metered free of charge under the ongoing National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP).
Under the NMMP which was launched in October last year, the federal government in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Discos and meter manufacturers, wants to aggressively close the huge metering gap in the country with the provision of six million meters.
One million meters were shared among the Discos for onward distribution to their customers in the phase zero roll-out exercise that kicked off on October 30, 2020.
However, the Ikeja Electric which was allocated 106,701 pre-paid meters for its customers, said the turnout of customers for metering has been low.
He explained that many of them have refused to register online for the ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) process, a pre-condition for metering, to be carried out by it.
Disclosing the Disco’s challenge at a recent media parley in Lagos, the Head of Corporate Communication, Ikeja Electric, Mr. Felix Ofolue, said only 57 per cent of the company’s customers have completed the mandatory KYC online application.
“The challenge we are having is that people are not going online to register. Only 57 per cent have done their KYC and some are even saying they don’t want meters.
“There is also the issue of separation of accounts by customers, which involves installation of their electrical connection to the required standard before they can be issued meters.
“Some of them have refused to do that and we cannot issue one meter for instance for five flats because it can easily get damaged,” Ofulue said.
He encouraged those who were yet to register to visit the online registration platform, so that they could be surveyed and have meters installed in their premises.