Blackout: FG threatens to revoke DisCos licences

The Federal Government, on Wednesday, declared that it would withdraw the operating licences of power distribution companies that were intentionally not supplying electricity to consumers across the country, leading to widespread blackouts in Nigeria.

It stated that despite efforts by the Federal Ministry of Power and electricity generating companies, some Discos were not distributing the power supplied to them by the Transmission Company of Nigeria, which had resulted in abysmal supply since this year.

Power supply across the country has been terrible since January 2024, as many towns and cities nationwide have been thrown into darkness for weeks due to the lack of electricity.

In a post on his official X handle on Wednesday, the Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, lamented the poor supply of electricity across the country, stressing that this was despite efforts by the government in tackling the challenge.

He, however, pointed out that findings by his ministry revealed that some power distribution companies were willfully not distributing electricity to end users in their various franchise areas.

Adelabu said, “It is disheartening to witness the decline in power supply despite the concerted efforts to improve the situation. The ministry has been exerting pressure on the generating companies to enhance their performance, resulting in a recent increase in generation to over 4,000MW.

“Despite this progress, certain distribution companies are failing to adequately distribute the power supplied by TCN, while vandalism of power infrastructure exacerbates the problem in regions such as Abuja, Benin, Port Harcourt, and Ibadan.

“Moving forward, I am committed to holding all distribution companies accountable for their performance. Willful non-performance will not be tolerated, and severe consequences, including licence revocation, may be imposed.

“Additionally, I have instructed TCN to prioritise repair works on damaged transmission towers and power lines to improve supply in affected regions.”

Recall that The PUNCH exclusively reported on Monday that despite the widespread blackout and the worsening state of electricity supply in Nigeria, latest figures on daily load summary of power distribution companies indicated that the firms failed to distribute about 1,769.91 megawatts of electricity between February 1 and 14, 2024.

The report pointed out that data from TCN showed that though some of the power firms received excess electricity load allocation during the period, most of them failed to utilise all the quantum of energy allocated to them by TCN.

The report also quoted Adelabu as saying in an earlier statement that “findings revealed that some distribution companies were deliberately not taking up power supply from TCN while some power lines were also damaged by vandals in Abuja, Benin, Port Harcourt and Ibadan regions.”

Nigeria has 11 power distribution companies and they include Abuja, Benin, Eko, Enugu, Ibadan, Ikeja, Jos, Kaduna, Kano, Port Harcourt and Yola Discos.

The report, which gave details of the daily quantum of power rejected by the Discos, stated that on February 1, 2024, for instance, seven of the power distributors failed to utilise a total of 128.62MW of electricity, while four others including Benin, Ibadan, Port Harcourt and Yola took a cumulative excess load allocation of 61.91MW.

By taking excess load, it means the Disco’s actual energy consumption for that particular day was higher than the load allocated to it by the Transmission Company of Nigeria.

However, the actual consumption figures of most Discos are usually lower than their allocated load, leading to unutilised or rejected energy by the power distributors.

Meanwhile, in his Wednesday’s post on X, Adelabu reiterated that he had summoned some power distributors and TCN over the poor power supply situation in Nigeria.

The minister also noted that “during recent supervisory visits to power generating plants, I have witnessed firsthand the challenges faced by the sector.”

He added, “Plans are underway to settle outstanding debts owed to power generation and gas supply companies, which will alleviate the financial strain and contribute to improved generation levels nationwide.

“I urge electricity consumers to remain patient as we work tirelessly to address these issues and provide better service to all Nigerians.”

Nigerians are, however, watching and hoping to see a positive change in the country’s power supply as promised by the minister.

SOURCE:PUNCH

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