The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, has assured Nigerians that with the buy-in of all actors, the proposed Power Sector Leadership Monthly Meetings of Operators will identify gaps, discuss and collectively find practical solutions to issues facing the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry.
The Minister who presided over the inaugural session, enjoined all operators to ensure highest executive levels representation, adding that he expects people who can take decisions and not junior levels officers who cannot take actions.
Managing Directors and CEO of Generating Companies (GENCOs), Distribution Companies (DISCOs), Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBETC), Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), and Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) were all in attendance
To underscore the importance of gas in the unfolding scenario in the electricity supply industry, the oil and gas industry was represented by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, Senior Executives of Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), Gas Aggregating entities especially the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC).
The meeting provided the opportunity for the sector to intensify efforts at resolving bottlenecks associated with gas supply to the power sector.
Issues deliberated and agreed upon are on public engagement of all stakeholders who were enjoined to take advantage of the reach on NTA and Radio Nigeria, as well as other media houses in their various localities for public enlightenment around tariff issues and other topical issues in simplified manner to elicit public understanding.
On collection, payment and debt, participants resolved that operators in the sector should adopt innovative and creative strategies in dealing with issues of vandalism, reluctance of customers to pay for energy consumed and for maintenance of machinery.
The team from oil and gas industry led by its Minister of State agreed to share information on significant gas projects that would impact positively on supply, especially those scheduled for completion in Q2 of 2016.
The Industry Operators agreed to an aggressive and sustained roll out of ensure that customers pay only for what they consume, DISCO Operators agreed to patronize genuine local meter manufacturers that meet required standards. All also agreed that customers who are not metered will be held accountable for the last undisputed bill.
Transmission constraints were exhaustively discussed especially as gas supply is set to improve, TCN is expected to brace-up to the challenge of strengthening its wheeling capacity, with a brief at the next setting. Monitoring of generation assets under their ownership would be pursued, while existing challenges among DISCOs were tackled.
On concerns raised by Nigerians on embedded generation, the stakeholders directed NERC to review such concerns on the matrix “willing buyer and “willing seller” basis.
In conclusion the Minister emphasized that he intends to run a sector that prioritize safety, hence it was resolved that operators’ safety performance will be tracked and public announcement be made at the regular meeting.