Blackout lingers as Discos reject 5,452.96MW of electricity
Power distribution companies rejected a total of 5,452.96 megawatts of electricity in one week amid the outcry of blackout in various locations across the country by consumers.
Latest industry figures on the Discos load summary obtained from the Transmission Company of Nigeria in Abuja on Saturday showed that the power distributors rejected this quantum of electricity in the final week of February 2021.
An analysis of the report indicated that most power firms failed to utilise some quantum of electricity allocated to them by TCN under the Multi Year Tariff Order allocation from February 22 to 28, 2021.
MYTO allocation is the daily national grid allocation to the power distribution companies.
The report also showed that although each of the 11 Discos had a maximum load (energy) nomination which they nominated for, there was a MYTO allocation for the power firms as approved by the industry.
It was, however, observed that the actual load consumption of most of power firms was less than the MYTO allocation that was approved by the industry, hence leading to a total of 5,452.96MW unutilised power within the one-week period.
On February 22, 2021, for instance, only Abuja and Port Harcourt Discos collected and distributed the entire MYTO load allocation which they got from TCN; the remaining nine power firms rejected a cumulative total of 737.74MW of electricity that day.
On February 23, all the 11 power firms could not utilise a total 672.87MW, while the next day, Abuja, Enugu, Ibadan and Port Harcourt Discos used all their MYTO allocations, as the other seven rejected a total of 392.26MW.
The entire Discos failed to utilise and distribute 837.02MW on February 25, while only Abuja Disco collected and distributed all the load it received on February 26, as the 10 other Discos rejected 804.74MW that day.
The report showed that February 27 recorded the highest single-day load rejection, as the 11 power firms failed to utilise or distribute a cumulative total of 1,069.24MW of electricity.
Again on February 28, Abuja Disco stood out as the only power distributor that received and distributed all the load allocated to it by TCN, while the other 10 firms rejected a total of 939.09MW.
Abuja Disco recorded the least quantum of unutilised electricity load during the one-week period, as it rejected only 25.21MW.
On the other hand, Ikeja Disco in Lagos rejected the highest quantum of electricity, as it failed to utilise 987.42MW during the seven-day period.
Benin, Eko, Enugu and Ibadan Discos rejected 398.21MW, 756.79MW, 250.02MW and 385.13MW respectively.
Also, Jos, Kaduna, Kano, Port Harcourt and Yola Discos rejected 658.91MW, 732.05MW, 810.03MW, 122.77MW and 326.41MW respectively.
The electricity load rejections by Discos were in spite of the fact that consumers complained about blackouts in many locations across the country.
The National Secretary, Nigeria Electricity Consumer Advocacy Network, Uket Obonga, said load rejections had lingered in the sector despite the darkness in many parts of the country at nights.
“We’ve been receiving complaints from various locations by consumers across the country on how they hardly get power, but unfortunately, Discos are rejecting load from TCN,” he said.
Obonga added, “We know the Discos have their own reasons for doing this, but the truth is that for how long will Nigerians suffer in darkness as a result of issues in the power sector?”
Speaking further on load rejection, he blamed this on the poor transmission and distribution infrastructure in many parts of Nigeria.
Obonga said, “There have been incidents of conductors falling and killing people and damaging properties. What is responsible for that? These conductors which are transmission or distribution infrastructure have been there for decades.
“Some have been there for over 30, 40 years. Who has taken time to investigate and know how a conductor lasts. What of the concrete polls, cross bars, insulators?”
He said many of these power equipment had been installed since the 1960s and 1970s and were still being used to transmit and distribute electricity.
“Are you aware that between Abuja and Kaduna, the Disco in Kaduna cannot take its allocated load because the transmission infrastructure there that links Abuja and Kaduna cannot transmit the load?” Obonga asked.
He added, “And this is why Kaduna Disco is perpetually being under-supplied. That is one case.
“When you go to Ikeja and check the line that connects Ikeja to Ikorodu, it was installed in 1971 or 1972. When it was installed, all the communities that are now connected to the grid through that line were not there.
“It was just a few factories and houses that were there then. But today, a section of Ikorodu cannot be supplied adequately and so what is being done to improve and upgrade transmission infrastructure?”
Power distribution companies had repeatedly explained that the supply of electricity to consumers was purely a business and should be supplied to customers who were willing to pay.
According to them, it would be counter-productive to the revenue drive of the sector if electricity was collected and distributed in locations where it had been tough for Discos to recoup the bills for power supplied.
The operators told our correspondent that they would not want to comment on controversial issues in the sector at the moment.
This, according to them, was because there had been series of engagements between the Discos and the Federal Government lately on various industry matters.
An official with the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors, the umbrella body for Discos, Akin Akinpelu, confirmed this to our correspondent in Abuja.
Also, senior government officials from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission and the Presidency alluded to the position of the Discos, as they noted that there had been several engagements with industry players to mitigate the challenges faced in the sector.