Energy Crisis: FG Orders NERC to Revoke Licences of Non-Performing Discos

The Federal Government has issued a marching order, asking the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, to withdraw licenses of non-performing electricity distribution companies, DISCOs.

This is even as power generation dropped year-on-year, YoY, by 21 per cent to 3,475MW in March 2024, from 4,404MW in the corresponding period of 2023, due to many problems, especially low investment and inadequate gas supply.

But, on month-on-month, MoM to 3,475 megawatts, MW in March 2024, from 4,043MW in February 2024, thus causing many Electricity Distribution Companies, DISCOs, to embark on loading.

Data obtained by Vanguard from the National System Operator, a unit in the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, indicated that supply remains low, thus negatively impacting households and businesses nationwide.

The government accused the DisCos of not doing enough to improve supply despite the availability of power on the national grid.

The Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu who stated this during a meeting with the head of the agencies in Abuja said the distribution segment remains the weakest link in the electricity supply value chain.

Adelabu stressed that NERC must look for creative ways of getting the DISCOs to improve supply including the imposition of stiff sanctions on utilities which fail to pick their allocations and outright cancellation of lincences.

He insisted that the franchise areas covered by the DISCOs were too large, adding the government would pursue a restructuring that would create smaller DISCOs with companies restricted to one state each.

The Minister pointed out that willful refusal by any DISCO to take up available power “is a qualified basis for the revocation of licenses too”, adding that the distribution companies must be ready to pick up 90-99 percent of load allocated to them.

He described the ongoing electricity rationing across the country as unacceptable, disclosing the government plans to improve power generation from the present 4,000MW to 6,000MW in the next six months.

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