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DisCos withdraw petitions as NERC insists on licence revocation

Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC)
Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC)

The eight electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) targeted by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for cancellation of their licences have withdrawn the petitions against NERC, as the commission insists on revocation of their licences within 30 days for lack of good performance .

The commission had notified the affected DisCos about cancelling their licences in 60 days since October, 2019, which elapses on December 7, 2019.

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It was for failure to remit at least 35 per cent of the bulk energy invoice they got from the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) in July, 2019.

Seven of the DisCos then filed petitions to NERC between October 21 and 25, challenging the Minor Review and Minimum Remittance Order.

In the petitions seen by this paper, the DisCos attempted to prove some points. They noted that a large chunk of electricity debt owed by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA) have remained unpaid. They further cited cases of efficient tariff, energy theft, among others, which caused the deficiency in their electricity revenue collection.

Daily Trust reports that there are 11 DisCos and they get their bulk energy through the network of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) from the Generation Companies (GenCos). When they sell this energy to consumers, they are issued invoice by NBET for bulk energy and service charge invoice by the Market Operator (MO).

The MO compelled them to start paying 100 per cent since August, 2019, but energy charge, which is higher, remains below average of 30 per cent. Officials at NERC said the DisCos agreed to pay 35 per cent after about five minor tariff reviews were recognised by the commission to address revenue shortfall.

However, eight DisCos violated it in July payment and failed to pay up to 35 per cent of their invoice amount, NERC then sanctioned them.

NERC had fixed public hearings on the petitions which should have started on Wednesday for Abuja and Benin DisCos in Abuja. The six DisCos: Eko, Enugu, Ibadan, Kaduna, Kano and Port Harcourt are to be heard till next Monday.

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