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Electricity distribution companies lack infrastructure to provide power-Fashola

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Nigeria’s power generation recently hit 6,863 megawatts but electricity distribution companies lack the infrastructure to power Nigerian homes, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola has said.
Fashola who was speaking at the 18th monthly power sector and stakeholder meeting in Kano State, said transmission capacity reached 6,700 megawatts due to the increase in gas supply to generation companies.
“Unfortunately, we cannot put all of that power on the grid because the DisCos cannot take it all,” Fashola stated.
Fashola however said the Nigerian government has earmarked N39.17 billion for the procurement and supply of metres to Discos across the country.
“The intervention is a move to ensure even distribution of electricity metres to consumers in the country,” he said.
He also called on individuals and companies to consider joining the electricity distribution sector to enhance power supply.
“The law does not vest the monopoly of metre supply to the DisCos. Anybody who qualifies under the safety regulation by Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) and under the licenses issued by Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) can supply meters to customers. In other words, meter supply is an opened but regulated business.”
“You need the license from NERC to undertake it. You need to comply with testing and safety standards of NEMSA to produce, install or import the metres. It is not a monopoly for Discos alone,” the Minister explained.
Investments needed
Fashola also encouraged State governments, organisations and individuals to invest in power generation, transmission and distribution so long as they obtain license from NERC.
“There is nothing in electric sector power reform act that stops any State from doing so, all they need is to get the right license from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC),” he stated.
According to him, under the mini grid aspect of the power sector reform, the generation companies could apply to NERC to build their own distribution assets that DisCos cannot fund as well as generation of power upward of 100 megawatts.
He pledged his support for any State that intends to invest in any of the power sector value chain.
“The mini grids are also consistent with our policy of incremental power to provide access to communities that have not been served or those who are under served.”
“If you are doing less than 100kw, you don’t need a permit but you need to be registered to know that you are there,” Fashola said.
States have already obtained licenses for mini grid development from the commission and the sector expects to receive more, he said.
 

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