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55% of Nigerians Still Unmetered

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CEM REPORT, ENERGY | Issues surrounding Electricity in Nigeria have proven tougher than the policies initiated. These issues pride themselves on the weakened capacity to fully implement policies that are capable of fixing the sector. Several sectors in the economy that relies on electricity are left to outsource electricity at exorbitant rates which is channelled as production cost that further increase the prices of everyday products.

This is evident in the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) second quarter (Q2’23) Electricity on Demand report, which shows that of the 12,561,049 registered electricity customers in the nation, 55.84 per cent (7,014,566) are unmetered. This leaves 44.16 per cent (5,546,483) of registered electricity customers metered.

In the review quarter, the report details that 178,864 customers were metered, a marginal increase of 0.85 per cent from the 43.31 per cent recorded in the previous quarter (Q1’23) with a two per cent change in metering rate by the DisCos.

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The NERC report reveals that Ikeja, Ibadan, Abuja and Enugu DisCos jointly account for 72.69 per cent of total meter installations in the review quarter

“Relative to 2023/Q1, eight DisCos recorded improvements in the number of meter installations with Benin (+28.40 per cent), Kano (+25.99 per cent), and Eko (+15.85 per cent) recording the greatest improvements. Conversely, Yola (-24.55 per cent), Kaduna (-6.27 per cent), and Enugu (-2.83 per cent) recorded a decline in the number of meters installed compared to 2023/Q1.”

Furthermore, of the 178,864 end-use customers metered in Q2’23 the report details that 94.15 per cent of customers were metered under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) framework, 5.20 per cent were metered under the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) framework, 0.64 per cent under the Vendor Financed, and 0.01 per cent under the DisCo Financed framework.

“Ikeja DisCo recorded the highest number of installations (47,080) representing 27.96 per cent of the total number of customers metered under the framework during the quarter. Yola DisCo did not record any installation under the framework in 2023/Q2.”

“Abuja, Ibadan, Ikeja, and Port Harcourt DisCos have exhausted their meter allocations under the NMMP phase 0. There was no change in the number of meter installations by Benin, Enugu, and Kano DisCos while Eko (-1,884), Ibadan (-7), Jos (-185), Kaduna (-29) and Yola (-2,272) DisCos reported a decrease in customer metering under the NMMP in 2023/Q2 compared to 2023/Q1. These decreases are due to the winding down of NMMP Phase 0.”

The skeletal progress recorded in metering is still far from an achievement judging from the report which shows that more than half of registered consumers are still unmetered which will continue to pose difficulty in proper billing of users.

Stakeholders in the industry emphasised that the two per cent change in the metering rate barely scratches the surface of the country’s metering needs.

Also in the Q2’23 report, the average available generation capacity of the 26 grid-connected power plants dropped by 4.74 per cent to 4,387.91MW from 4,605.72MW recorded in Q1’23. The report stated that 16 out of the 26 grid connected power plants recorded a -5.17 per cent (-483.19GWh) decrease in Q2’23 from 9,350.24GWh generated in Q1’23.

Average hourly generation of available units also decreased by 6.33 per cent (-274.47MWh/h) from 4,334.41MWh/h in 2023/Q1 to 4,059.94MWh/h.

NERC attributed the decline to gas constraints and mechanical faults affecting gas-fired thermal power plants, unscheduled maintenance, shutdown, total overhaul, depletion of dam reserves, and water management affecting hydro-dams.

Moreso, the average energy off-take in Q2’23 by DisCos at their trading points was 3,251.31MWh/h, a decline of -218.82MWh/h (-6.31 per cent) when compared to 3,470.13MWh/h off-take in Q1’23. During the quarter, all the DisCos took less than their available PCC except Eko DisCo which recorded an offtake performance of 116.90 per cent and will therefore benefit from reduced wholesale energy cost.

“A quarter-on-quarter analysis showed that the overall energy offtake performance of the DisCos increased by 3.18pp in 2023/Q2 (96.60 per cent) relative to the 93.42 per cent performance recorded in 2023/Q1. Eko DisCo was the top performer.”

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