The federal government has begun performance audits of electricity distribution companies (DisCos) from the post-privatisation to December 2021 with a plan to sanction those found wanting.
The Minister of Power, Abubakar D. Aliyu, disclosed this on Thursday during the weekly ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential Communication Media Team at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
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He said as of January 2022, the performance management of the DisCos had been fully transferred to the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) from the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE).
“We have a robust team led by the Boston Consulting Group performing a diagnostic of the Performance of DisCos from post-privatization to December 2021 and the results will be concluded soon.
“Based on the results, actions will be taken against underperforming DisCos under the guidelines of our contractual agreements.”
The minister attributed the current epileptic power supply in various parts of the country to the reduction in water levels that hydro dams usually experience in the dry season.
He said the government was working “assiduously” to resolve short-term load shedding challenges.
Aliyu said the federal government was executing up to $4 billion in investments in the grid to ensure more grid power is delivered to citizens.
While insisting that meters are provided free, the minister said the government was working to ensure that all locations in the country were metered through the National Mass Metering Programme, warning that DisCos that failed to perform would be sanctioned.
“We have said these times without number that these meters are free. They are instruments for generating money, how can we be selling meters?”
Aliyu also identified the right-of-way issue in states as one key challenge delaying some of the ongoing projects to further boost power supply in the country.
He, however, said the Ministry of Power was working to find a lasting solution to the issue through the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF).
He stated that the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) delivered grid, captive and embedded power to the tune of almost 8,000MW daily and not 4,000MW with an installed capacity of almost 18,000MW and not 13,000MW according to an industry study conducted by KPMG recently.
He said much of the improvement to 8,000MW had occurred under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration through positive industrial policies.
For better utilisation of the grid-based power plants, the minister said there were 135 ongoing projects for transmission lines, substations and other associated grid infrastructure, while the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) had completed 30 key substation projects and 12 important transmission lines.
On the Siemens Presidential Power Initiative (PPI), he said the government would bring in an additional $2billion or more to the transmission grid.