The 11 Distribution Companies (DisCos) collected N199.9 billion from about 12 million electricity customers and remitted N135bn as energy cost while spending a balance of N64bn on staff salaries and network investments in the first three months of 2022.
According to the first quarter 2022 report released by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on Thursday, the DisCos billed customers N295.69bn and collected N199.9bn representing 67.36 per cent collection efficiency, slightly less than the 69% they reached in Q4 2021.
The DisCos got a N205.6bn bill from the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc. (NBET) as an energy charge (N164.9bn) and the Market Operator (MO) for transmission and administrative services (N40.77bn). The DisCos then paid N135bn comprising N109.96bn to NBET and N25.73bn to MO, leaving out N69.94bn outstanding.
During the period, a special customer – Ajaokuta Steel Company failed to pay N391.7m invoice from NBET and N69.5m from MO.
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Benin Republic’s SBEE got $2.72m for energy from Paras GenCo, $2.74m from Transcorp Ughelli GenCo while Niger Republic’s NIGERLEC got $4.61m for energy from Maintream’s Kainji and Jebba GenCos. While Benin paid both invoices completely, Niger paid $4.52m (98%). Togo’s CEET failed to pay $3.42m for energy it received from Odukpani NIPP GenCo.
NERC urged MO, a section of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), to activate relevant safeguards to curb the trend.
On metering, there is still a huge metering gap as out of the 12,542,581 (12.5m) registered customers, only 4,740,114 (37.79%) have meters. 85,510 meters were installed in 2022/Q1 dropping from 45% in December 2021.
For NERC, the commission earned N3.58bn and spent N1.45bn in the first three months of 2022. The revenue declined by 49.9% from what it received in Q4 2021.
By reducing its expenditure, NERC said it recorded a positive net cash flow of N2.1bn in Q1 2022 and N4.6bn in 2021/Q4.