The Republic of the Niger, Republic of Benin and Togolese Republic did not pay a N5.86 billion electricity debt in 2020 from an invoice of N16.31billion issued to them by the Nigerian Electricity Market for the year.
According to the report for 2020 released by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, the companies for each of the countries are Societe Nigerienne d’electricite, Societe Beninoise d’Energie Electrique and Compagnie Energie Electrique du Togo respectively.
The remittances, according to Daily Trust, showed that the Nigerian Market Operator gave the countries N16.31 billion from which they paid N10.45 billion for the services received from Nigerian Market Operator, while N5.86 billion was outstanding.
Ajaokuta Steel Company Ltd, termed a special customer in Nigeria, and its host community did not pay anything after consuming N1.08 billion worth of electricity in the year. The invoice from Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading to the company was N930 million, while that of Market Operator was N150 million.
NERC recommended in the report that, “MO and NBET must activate the relevant safeguards against continued non-settlement of market obligations by these market participants.”
Also, in 2020 NERC issued five new generation licences and renewed three others which would add 667.70 megawatts (MW) to the grid. The new licences can add 235MW while the renewed licences were for 346MW capacity of electricity generation. It also gave approval to 33 Meter Asset Providers (MAPs) and certified 17 Meter Service Providers (MSPs).
On metering, the report indicated that 537,400 meters were installed for consumers in 2020, a 60.4 per cent higher figure than the 334,896 meters installed in 2019.
Despite this, the huge metering gap for end-use customers is still a key challenge in the industry. Registered customers grew to 11,841,819 (11.8m) in 2020 but just 4,666,191 (4.6m) or 39.40 per cent of them were metered.
“Therefore, 60.60 per cent of the registered electricity customers are on estimated billing contributing to apathy toward payment for electricity bills,” it stated.