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DisCos Slam N273 Billion Electricity Bill on Customers in Three Months – Report

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DisCos Slam N273 Billion Electricity Bill on Customers in Three Months – Report
  • Consumers Pay N193.53 Billion
  • Outstanding balance stands at N79.47 Billion

Power distribution companies (DisCos) in Nigeria have billed electricity consumers in the country a total of N273 billion utility charges in the third quarter of 2021.

This is according to the latest report by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on Monday stating that out of that amount, DisCos collected a total revenue of N193.53 billion.

The huge sum was paid by Nigerians amidst incessant grid fall and perpetual power outages that forced consumers to spend additional money on gasoline to fuel their power generating sets.

Power supply in Nigeria has remained unstable since the sector was privatised in November 2013.

However, in its just-released third quarter 2021 report, the power sector regulator stated that the 11 electricity distribution companies raked in over N193 billion during the three-month period.

Commenting on collection efficiency by the Discos, the commission said, “The total revenue collected by all Discos in 2021/Q3 was N193.53 billion out of the N273 billion billed to customers. This represents a collection efficiency of 70.89 per cent as compared to 68.89 per cent recorded in 2021/Q2.

“The total revenue collected in 2021/Q3 rose by N8.24 billion (+4.45 per cent) from N185.29 billion recorded in 2021/Q2. The overall improvement in collection efficiency during the quarter under review could be attributed to the roll-out of meters under both the National Mass Metering Programme  (NMMP) funded through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the continuation of the Meter Asset Provider scheme.”

On market remittance, the NERC stated that the combined Market Operator invoice and Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc’s (NBET) Market remittance order adjusted invoice to Discos in 2021/Q3 was N208.54 billion for energy and administrative services.

It added that out of this amount, the Discos collectively remitted a total sum of N141.69 billion (N41.53 billion for MO and N100.16 billion for NBET), representing a remittance performance of 67.94 per cent during the quarter, with an outstanding balance of N66.85 billion.

For the remittance to NBET, the NERC stated that out of the total invoice of N197.64 billion issued by NBET to Discos, NBET was expected to receive N153.90 billion under the MRT Order but it received only N100.17 billion during the quarter.

“Overall, the total Disco remittance performance to NBET was 65.09 per cent of the expected MRT for 2021/Q3 relative to 66.4 per cent recorded in the preceding quarter,” it stated.

Providing updates on available generation capacity, the commission stated that during the third quarter of 2021, there were 26 grid-connected power stations consisting of 10 privatised legacy power plants, nine National Integrated Power Project plants, and seven Independent Power Plants.

It said four of the grid-connected plants were hydropower plants, while the rest were gas-fired thermal plants, adding that the available generation capacity for the 26 plants was 5,301.32 megawatts, representing a 9.45 per cent increase from 4,843.58MW1 recorded in 2021/Q2.

On the performance of the national grid, it stated that the stability of the grid network declined slightly with one total and partial system collapse that occurred on July 28 and August 23 2021 respectively, as against one total collapse in 2021/Q2.

“To improve the grid stability in the subsequent quarter and beyond, the commission continues to enforce and monitor compliance by Discos and TCN (Transmission Company of Nigeria) with respect to the execution of service level agreements to ensure further grid discipline,” the NERC stated.

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