Nigerian power consumers are reeling from the impact of massive overbilling, with power distribution companies (Discos) collectively raking in N105 billion in nine months.
An analysis of the latest monthly data from January to September 2023 revealed that approximately 7.1 million unmetered electricity consumers across the nation fell victim to inflated bills.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), the federal agency overseeing the power sector, disclosed that the overbilling stemmed from the failure of Discos to adhere to the prescribed monthly energy caps for unmetered customers.
The overbilling issue has raised serious concerns about the financial burden on consumers and the credibility of the power distribution system.
A breakdown of the figures showed that various Discos were involved in overbilling activities, with significant discrepancies noted in the amounts charged against the estimated energy consumption.
For instance, Abuja Disco overbilled approximately 1.8 million customers by N17.9 billion, while Ikeja Disco charged 934,438 customers an excess of N20.9 billion during the review period.
The overbilling trend has prompted a swift response from NERC, which has vowed to take punitive measures against non-compliant Discos.
As part of its regulatory intervention, NERC announced plans to deduct N10.5 billion from the annual allowed revenues of the 11 Discos during the next tariff review.
Consumers, already grappling with the economic challenges, have expressed outrage over the overbilling saga.
Many have voiced concerns about the impact of excessive bills on their household budgets, calling for urgent measures to address the issue and restore transparency and fairness to electricity billing practices.
Nigeria’s Energy Sector Set for Growth as Akpo West Field Adds 14,000 Barrels per Day
Nigeria’s energy landscape is poised for significant expansion with the imminent commencement of production at the Akpo West field, a development expected to bolster the nation’s condensate output by 14,000 barrels per day (bpd).
The Akpo West field, owned by TotalEnergies and its partners, represents a pivotal advancement in Nigeria’s energy sector, promising to enhance the country’s position in the global oil market.
TotalEnergies, in collaboration with its partners, has unveiled plans for the Akpo West field, located on Petroleum Mining Lease (PML) 2, situated 135 kilometers off the Nigerian coast.
The field is strategically positioned to leverage existing infrastructure, minimizing costs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Initial estimates indicate that the project’s carbon intensity will be below 5 kg CO2e/barrel of oil equivalent, contributing to TotalEnergies’ efforts to mitigate environmental impact.
The Akpo West development is anticipated to commence by mid-2024, marking a significant milestone in Nigeria’s energy sector.
With the addition of 14,000 bpd of condensate production, Nigeria’s total condensate output is poised to witness a notable surge.
Condensate, a highly sought-after light crude oil, commands premium prices in the global market, enhancing Nigeria’s revenue potential and economic resilience.
Furthermore, the Akpo West project underscores TotalEnergies’ commitment to sustainable energy development and innovation.
By harnessing existing infrastructure and optimizing operational efficiency, the project aims to maximize production while minimizing environmental footprint.
The launch of the Akpo West field represents a transformative moment for Nigeria’s energy sector, promising growth, innovation, and enhanced global competitiveness in the realm of oil and gas production.
Dangote Petroleum Refinery to Fuel 150,000 IPMAN Outlets Nationwide Following Successful Meeting
The Dangote Petroleum Refinery is poised to supply fuel to approximately 150,000 retail outlets affiliated with the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN).
The decision follows a successful meeting between the refinery’s management and top executives from IPMAN that agreed to bolster the nation’s energy supply chain.
Key industry players, including major oil marketers such as 11 Plc, Conoil Plc, Ardova Plc, MRS Oil Nigeria Plc, OVH Energy Marketing Limited, Total Nigeria Plc, and NNPC Retail, have already enrolled for product distribution from the state-of-the-art Dangote facility, which commenced the production of diesel and aviation fuel on January 12, 2024.
While regulatory assessments are underway before the final nod for fuel dispensing, IPMAN’s president expressed optimism about the positive impact this collaboration would have on the country.
“The meeting went well, so right now we are just expecting their reply in terms of the products that they are going to give us. They have agreed to dispense products to IPMAN members,” commented IPMAN’s president, reassuring that the Dangote Refinery, one of the largest in the world, is well-equipped to meet the nation’s consumption needs.
With the refinery’s promise to address fuel scarcity and bring products to market, IPMAN anticipates a transformative impact on Nigeria’s fuel distribution landscape, providing a potential solution to prevailing challenges in the sector.
Nigerian Discos Report N267.6 Billion Collection in Q3, Achieve 79% Billing Efficiency
The electricity Distribution Companies (Discos) have reported a commendable collection of N267.6 billion from customers in the third quarter of this year.
The Quarterly Report from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) indicates that this achievement came with a billing efficiency of 79%.
During the third quarter, the total energy received by all Discos stood at 7,184.45GWh. However, the billed energy to end-users witnessed a decrease of 2.44%, totaling 5,682.11GWh.
Despite this dip, the Discos showcased billing efficiency at 79%, a noteworthy performance in comparison to the previous quarter’s 81.53%.
According to the NERC report, the total revenue collected by the Discos in Q3 amounted to N267.61 billion out of the N349.55 billion billed to customers.
This translates to a collection efficiency of 76.56%, marking a 1.02% increase compared to the previous quarter.
The positive shift in collection efficiency is attributed to the implementation of various collection campaigns focusing on improved remittance by post-paid customers.
However, the report also points out that Aggregate Technical, Commercial, and Collection (ATC&C) loss was 39.45% during the quarter, indicating room for improvement.
In terms of market remittance, the Discos cumulatively remitted N158.43 billion out of the N208.70 billion payable, resulting in a remittance performance of 75.91% in Q3.
This reflects a decrease compared to the 95.21% recorded in the previous quarter.
The power sector in Nigeria has been grappling with challenges, including insufficient investment, sector illiquidity, non-cost reflective billing, and disruptions in gas-to-power supply.
Despite these hurdles, the Discos’ Q3 performance suggests efforts to navigate and improve their operational efficiency.
As the industry continues to evolve, stakeholders anticipate ongoing efforts to enhance billing efficiency, reduce losses, and promote a sustainable and reliable power supply for Nigeria.
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