Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has warned that the raining season will pose a major challenge to the transmission and distribution arms of the power industry.
According to him, although the rains will benefit hydro power stations, it will also pose some difficulties in the running of the distribution and transmission networks.
Fashola’s warning to operators in the sector was captured in the minutes of the 27th monthly meeting for stakeholders in the industry, which was obtained by our correspondent from the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing in Abuja.
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The minister “advised operators to prepare for the raining season, which would provide more water supply to the hydro stations and pose major challenges to transmission and distribution networks.”
In this regard, he appealed to the operators to promptly issue notices when there were known damages that would interfere with power supply and send maintenance team out to repair and replace damaged equipment or clear fallen trees.
The minister urged the operators to also send information to the public on multiple platforms of conventional and social media to report faults that they might not be aware of, adding that the operators should painstakingly resolve all customer complaints and provide better services where needed.
On remittances required for the generation of power through the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company, the minutes stated that the NBET received only 25.43 per cent payment from the distribution companies for the energy it received from the generation companies for the March 2018 cycle.
It stated that late payments from the January cycle amounting to 2.45 per cent of the March invoice was also received by the NBET, bringing the total payment percentage for February to 27.88 per cent.
The power distribution firms have continued to remit below 30 per cent of what is expected of them by the NBET, a development that has led to severe liquidity crisis in the sector.
“The NBET also received $6.9m in international customers’ payments from the market operator, which was paid to the generation companies,” the minutes added.
In its report, the market operator stated that the Discos received 81.95 per cent of the total energy sent out by the generation firms, while international customers and other direct customers received 8.08 per cent, thereby creating a transmission loss factor of 9.97 per cent in the month of March 2018.