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DisCos rate network above 5,000MW, decry sector constraints

Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) have said their network capacity can supply over 5,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity to their customers, but stressed that they are being constrained by weak transmission and other factors.

A statement by the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) said the Minister of Power, Mr. Saleh Mamman who briefed the press at the previous Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting had stated that Nigeria generates 13,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity; it transmits 7,000MW to DisCos while the DisCos can only distribute 3,000MW to end users.

However, the DisCos clarified this saying their capacity to supply power is twice of the 5,200MW peak generation attained in 2018.

ANED noted that the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) had never risen above 5,375MW of which only 4,303MW of energy was delivered to the DisCos.

“The recent Siemens “Electrification Roadmap for Nigeria” report, May 7th, 2019 states “Today, power distribution by the DisCos to end-customers is limited by power infeed from TCN.

“DisCo capacity, is about twice as high as the peak supply delivered by TCN to the respective distribution utilities (where the peak was 5.2 GW across all Nigeria in 2018),” it revealed.

The DisCos said they can only deliver the energy that is transmitted or wheeled to them by TCN, based on the amount generated.

ANED also denied claims that government was subsidizing their operations. “To date, the DisCos have not received any subsidy from the federal government. References to the N1.7 trillion in subsidies paid by the government are associated with payments that have been made to the generating and gas supply companies,” the statement clarified.

ANED said despite constraints, DisCos have improved their collection efficiency, from 2017 (57.89%) to a high of 74.5% by December 2019.

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