Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja
The Federal Government and all operators in the power sector have mandated the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission to sanction distribution companies that reject electricity allocated to them by the Transmission Company of Nigeria.
Although NERC has on several occasions threatened to sanction Discos that reject power, it has failed to announce defaulters who have been sanctioned as a result of the offence, prompting assumptions that it has not been able to penalise any distribution company for rejecting electricity.
Power generation companies, gas suppliers and transmission service providers often condemn NERC for its inability to penalise the errant Discos, as they argue that the regulator has failed in that aspect.
Also, the TCN has repeatedly complained that power distribution companies are rejecting electricity allocated to them despite poor supply across the country, adding that this was the major reason why the generation companies were asked to reduce the quantum of electricity being supplied to the grid.
The PUNCH had exclusively reported that eight power distribution companies recently rejected 1,336.75 megawatts-hour of electricity, representing 19 per cent of the total quantum of power supplied to them by the TCN.
However, in a bid to address this, the Federal Government and other operators in the power value chain have unanimously mandated NERC to wield the big stick against the Discos that reject electricity allocated to them by the transmission company.
It was gathered that the marching order was given to the regulatory agency at the 14th monthly power sector meeting held in April this year, which had in attendance all the operators and was chaired by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola.
A senior management official of one the power generation companies, who was present at the meeting and who made available to our correspondent the action/task log and minutes of the meeting in Abuja on Friday, stated that the forum directed NERC to as a matter of urgency sanction the errant Discos.
“The load rejection by the Discos is becoming alarming and shouldn’t be allowed to continue if this sector must make a headway. This is why everyone at the meeting unanimously agreed that henceforth, NERC must sanction those who reject power,” the official told our correspondent in confidence.
He noted that following the TCN’s accusation against the Discos early this year, NERC summoned a stakeholders’ meeting involving the transmission company, Gencos and power distributors on March 23, 2017, and threatened sanctions against those who reject electricity.
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