By Abdulrafiu Edidi
Nigeria’s electricity distribution companies say increased energy theft and customers refusal to pay are hobbling their revenue drive, which may further deteriorate power supply in the country.
They said due to poor revenue collection from their operations they are unable to pay generating companies, who equally cannot meet their obligations to gas suppliers.
Elijah Friday, the communication director of Jos Electricity Distribution Company (JEDC) for example related his company’s inability to collect up to 50 percent revenue for the electricity sold to its customers in the month of February 2018, which he attributed to energy theft, vandalism and outright refusal to pay.
He said Jos DISCO was only able to collect less than a billion naira of the N4.5 billion worth of electricity it distributed in the month of February.
According to him, over 100 of the companies’ transformers were impaired within two months.
“The mischief-makers have flawed numerous transformers and as such, are making it tough for JEDC to meet up with its duties,” he said.
Friday also revealed that the amount of energy allocated to his company by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) is also responsible for the deteriorating state of energy supply to its customers.
The DISCOS payments variation to power producers is as well frustrating the ability of the electricity generation companies to run their operations and pay for the supply of gas they used in generating electricity.
The Association of Power Generating Companies (APGC) had earlier reported that the Nigerian Gas Processing and Transporting Company (NGPTC), a subsidiary of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had sent them letters threatening to terminate gas supplies to them if payments are not made.
The associations of power producers also mentioned that the government has repeatedly defaulted in fulfilling the payment obligations it made to them through the N701 billion payment assurance facility it signed with them in 2017. The association is responsible for 80 percent of the country’s on-grid energy.