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Power sector loses N201.3bn in six months

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The daily financial losses in Nigeria’s power sector since the beginning of this year have risen to N201.3bn, findings from the Office of the Vice President showed on Wednesday. Data from the Advisory Power Team in the Vice President’s office in Abuja showed that the N201.3bn loss accumulated between January 1 and June 5 this year. It was also gathered that the industry lost about N1.7bn on June 5, 2018 alone due to insufficient gas supply to power generation companies and the non-availability of distribution and transmission infrastructure.

News had reported exclusively on May 7 that between January 1 and May 5 this year, the power sector lost about N154bn as a result of the unavailability of gas, distribution and transmission infrastructure hitches as well as water reserve challenges. The APT, in its latest report on the industry’s performance, stated that “the power sector lost an estimated N1,702,000,000 on June 5, 2018 due to insufficient gas supply, distribution and transmission infrastructure.”

It also stated that 1,851 megawatts was not generated due to unavailability of gas, adding that 230.6MW was not added to the country’s power grid due to unavailability of transmission infrastructure. The APT further revealed that 1,098.8MW was not generated due to high frequency resulting from unavailability of distribution infrastructure, while 365MW was lost due to water management constraint. The APT stated, “The dominant constraint on June 5, 2018 remained unavailability of gas, constraining a total of 1,851MW from being available on the grid.

“Peak generation for June 5, 2018 was 4,302MW and peak generation to date is 5,222MW, recorded on 18 December 2017. The estimated amount lost to insufficient gas supply, distribution, transmission and water reserves to date in 2018 is N201,298,000,000.” On ways to mitigate the continued financial losses in the industry, operators and experts advised the Federal Government and the National Assembly to come up with policies that would help address the situation.

The Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors, Sunday Oduntan, told our correspondent that there should be a law to criminalize power theft, as the stealing of electricity accounted for 40 per cent of the energy supplied. “Legislative effort should be applied to criminalizing energy theft and meter bypass, and creating electricity special/mobile courts,” he said.

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