By Emmanuel Afonne
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has sanctioned the Port Harcourt Distribution Company for not complying with the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry directives regarding submission of audited accounts.
A communiqué issued at the end of the sector’s monthly meeting held on Monday in Sokoto stated that Benin, Kano and Enugu Distribution Companies (DisCos) would also be sanctioned for non-submission of their financial statements.
The Electric Power Sector Reform Act of 2005 established NERC’s authority to impose mandatory reliability standards on the transmission system and to impose penalties on companies that manipulate the electricity markets.
It also administers accounting and financial reporting regulations and conduct of regulated companies such as the DisCos.
NERC consequently directed that DisCos would be required to submit financial statements of their companies in accordance with the provision of their licences.
The communique reported the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), saying that the meeting was not meant to sanction operators but to find solutions to the electricity sector.
“Current reports indicated 3500MWh/h delivered by the national grid which represents a steady improvement over the past few months,” the communique said.
It noted that a recent performance report on the power sector reported an average of 3,166MW of power currently unavailable due to gas shortages caused by pipeline vandalism.
The meeting also noted that the remaining vandalised gas pipelines would shortly be repaired.
The communiqué further acknowledged improvements in response rates by Distribution Companies to customer complaints, notably resolving issues in Udu community in Delta State (Benin DisCo).
Improvements were also acknowledged at Rainbow College Ota (Ibadan DisCo) and other locations in other Distribution Companies around the country.
The meeting expressed anticipation of continued improvements in dispute resolution procedure with customers.
It recognised the need for the transmission system and the distribution companies to ensure that all incremental power added to national grid were evacuated by the grid and delivered to customers.
The Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) used the occasion to announce the completion of Alaoji to Ikot Ekpene 330kv DC line, as well as Calabar to Ikot Ekpene 330kv DC line.
The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) informed the meeting of a promising outlook on gas by the end of the third quarter of 2016.
“The strategy for gas supply improvement involve restoring previous supply level by completing repairs of ELPS 24” pipeline by mid-November 2016, and incremental supply through new supply additions.
“The supply additions will come from the NPDC Oredo 2, Utorogu NAG2, Odidi, Giga gas and TEPNG.
“The meeting explained steps being taken to address the liquidity problem by government through previous approvals and payments, recognising that billing and payment are continuing occurrences in the business.
“The meeting was briefed about the plans of government to verify MDA debts by requesting DisCos to submit details of customers, while charging DisCos to reduce their own losses by increasing metering and also by furnishing their audited accounts.
“Steps are being taken to resolve interface issues that improve service to DisCos and the progress of transmission grid expansion programmes in Maiduguri, Damaturu, Mayo Balewa and Damboa which fall within the remit of Yola DisCo,” the communiqué added.
The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) briefed the meeting of the ongoing expansion projects in Sokoto, Kaduna, Zaria, Funtua, and Gusau within the territory of Kaduna DisCo.