Expensive Darkness: Nigerians Paid N258.9bn For Electricity In Seven Months

Despite epileptic power supply and frequent blackouts, electricity consumers in the country paid N258.91 billion for electricity in the first seven months of 2022, latest report from the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc, NBET, has shown.

According to Vanguard, the report obtained showed that the amount was however, N194.4 billion short of the N453.31 billion invoiced for electricity supplied over the period.

The figure was also 24.91 percent short of the Minimum Remittance Order, MRO, set by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, for electricity distribution companies, DisCos.

A close look at the monthly remittances by the DisCos showed that the 11 utilities remitted N38.87 billion in January, N40.08 billion in February, N31.27 billion in March and N38.78 billion in April.

Others were N30.09 billion in May, N33.48 billion in June and N46.34 billion in July.

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NERC had on July 1, activated a partial Power Purchase Agreement, PPA, with generation companies, GenCos, for the supply of 5,505 Megawatts of electricity for peak generation and a base load of 4,893MW.

The move is part of efforts by the government to improve electricity supply.

The agreement guarantees payment for gas supplied to the GenCos by gas companies and also ensures that the generation companies are paid for power supplied to the national grid.

The new partial power purchase agreements mean that all the 25 power generation plants on the grid now have an agreement in place to generate a certain amount of power and get paid for it.

Checks on power generation data released by the National System Operator, NSO, a unit in the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, showed that the grid hit a peak generation of 4,718.8 Mega Watts on Saturday.

As at 3pm on Sunday, NSO data showed that 21 power generation companies were supplying the grid with 4,187MW with Shiroro Hydro (501MW), Delta (438MW), Azura-Edo IPP (375MW) and Jebba Hydro (369MW) among the top four generators.

Speaking to Vanguard in a telephone chat, Mr. Chijoke James, National President, Electricity Consumers Association of Nigeria, said though power supply has improved since July 1, 2022, the electricity bills have more than tripled.

According to him, “The bills from the DisCos have tripled especially for consumers on the estimated billing system.

“It is important that the government should compel the DisCos to provide meters to consumers.

“The policy that the consumers have to pay for meters is wrong because the meter ought to be free.

“It is the responsibility of the DisCos to private meters for their business.

“The government must end the estimated billing method because the consumers are paying for electricity they have not consumed,” he added.