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Curb indolence of DisCos

Th e latest data released by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) showed that 61,711mw of electricity was allocated to the 11 electricity distribution companies in August alone from which they served an estimated 11.05m households with 55,239mw.
However, the 11 DisCos reportedly rejected about 54,950mw of electricity being 17 days’ supply from the generation companies transmitted through the TCN and enough to energise 10.9m households.
Normally, DisCos nominate supply to paying customers especially where their equipment are functioning.
However, load rejection occurs when DisCos refuse to energise their power intake either because customers are defaulting in payment or they have malfunctioning facilities.
In the event of load rejection, the Control Centre would tell the GenCos to reduce their power production because failure to eff ect reduction would lead to high frequency which would ultimately damage the generating unit, create a loss of power, and grid collapse depending on how severe the outage is.
Th e TCN analysis showed that Ikeja DisCo rejected the highest energy of 24,090mw during the 17-day period.
Ibadan DisCo had 18,733mw, Abuja DisCo 17,656mw and Eko DisCo 14,808mw, followed by Enugu DisCo with 13,916mw, Benin DisCo with 12,717mw, Kaduna DisCo with 12,813mw and Kano DisCo with 12,813, while Jos DisCo had 8,983mw and Yola had the lowest fi gure of 5,536mw of unutilized electricity.
In practical terms, had Ikeja DisCo picked up its rejected load, 4.8m homes could have been energised, about 3.
7m households could have been lit with what Ibadan DisCo rejected; 3.5m homes could have enjoyed supply with Abuja DisCo’s, and 2.6m others under Eko DisCo rejected load.
For Jos DisCo’s rejected load, 1.7m households could have enjoyed stable electricity, 2.7m households ought to have been energised from the rejection of Enugu DisCo, 2.4m homes from Benin DisCo and a further 2.
5m from the Kaduna and Kano DisCos respectively.
Th is is based on the calculation of experts at the National Council on Power (NACOP) meeting that one megawatt of electricity is capable of powering about 200 households.
Considering the number of homes that could have enjoyed electricity and the boost the supply could have had on micro businesses if the 11 DisCos had been up and doing in their responsibilities, we are shocked that the same distribution companies that so often lamented lack of suffi cient load for distribution to consumers deliberately shut their doors against available electricity for distribution.
Ironically, the DisCos had vehemently denied repeated accusations by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, and some authorities in the power generation and transmission sector to the eff ect that the distribution fi rms were being lackadaisical about evacuating and distributing available electricity to industries and households in the country.
For instance, early last month, the minister stated that although Nigeria currently has up to 6,863mw of electricity that can be sent to homes and industries in the country, but due to the failures of the distribution facilities of the 11 Discos, that amount of power could not get to the homes and offi ces of their customers.
We observed that rather than admit their inadequacies, the DisCos are in the habit of denying rejecting load, while accusing both the generation companies and TCN of not doing enough to boost supply for distribution.
Th e Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), like its counterparts, has consistently claimed that the 5.
5mw it receives monthly was grossly inadequate to meet the electricity needs of the FCT not to talk of its entire catchment areas of Kogi, Nasarawa, and Niger states.
In line with their habit of living in denial, the 11 DisCos through the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) have dismissed the latest data, blaming the 54,950mw unutilized electricity in 17 days on the System Operator (SO), a section of the TCN, which they said misinterpreted energy readings by miscalculating drop in electricity demand from customers at night as load rejection.
Rather than come to terms with their defi ciencies, the distribution fi rms have urged the TCN to quickly upgrade its infrastructures to signifi cantly reduce the forced outages it causes the DisCos and electricity consumers.
Nigerians, who are at the receiving end, are not impressed by this buck-passing and would rather have their homes energised than be assailed by blame games and counterclaims.
Th erefore, it may be necessary for the federal government to wield the big stick by stamping its feet on the fulfi lment of the terms of agreement the 11 DisCos had voluntarily entered into regarding provision and distribution of electricity especially to complement government’s enormous investments in the power sector.
It is also high time the federal government created the enabling environment to allow states and individuals with the capacity to invest in generation and distribution of electricity to do so.
Such competition will ginger the DisCos to wake up from their slumber to enumerate homes for metering, improve their fi nances through settlement of bills by consumers as well as boost their infrastructure capacities which invariably will translate to improved performance.
Th at the 11 DisCos have in three years been only able to meter less than 3.
5m homes out of the 7m they claimed to have enumerated is worrisome and calls for urgent attention to address the obvious defi ciency.

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