The Association of Power Generation Companies GenCos, has said the country needs 180,000 megawatts of electricity to be sufficient.
The body, through its Executive Secretary of the Association, Dr. (Mrs) Joy Ogaji on Tuesday in Lagos said the need for 180,000 megawatts electricity was due to Nigeria’s 180 million population.
“The rule of thumb for an industrial nation is about 1MW for every thousand of the population. This puts Nigeria’s energy needs in about 180,000MW range given its population of about 180 million. The Federal Government has a target of 40,000MW by the year 2020.”
“It is not about projecting the megawatts, we should also put other building blocks which goes with generating the megawatts such as a firm, independent and knowledgeable regulator, a default proof payment plan, firm payment guarantees and incentives for investors. In summary, government providing an enabling environment and avoiding interference, focusing on policies and giving direction.”
“More often than not, the GenCos have sufficient generated power available, without the capacity to transmit and distribute to the final consumers, all the effort is wasted. That is the scenario; that is the basic dilemma the industry faces.
180 million megawatts of electricity is a far cry from the barely 5000MW presently being generated by the GenCos.
Towards supply of electricity during dry season in Nigeria, the GenCos said they are committed and ready to improve power generation through all power plants including its Hydro Power Plants companies across the country.
Emphasizing this, she added that the Hydro (water source) Power segments among the power Generation Companies are up to the tasks as all mechanisms have been put in place to ensure optimal supply of power to the grid during the yuletide period and beyond.
“The Hydro GenCos are very much aware that due to the cessation of rain during the dry/harmattan season, power supply is usually a challenge. Knowing this, adequate water conservation plans have been put in place to ensure optimal generation. This has been on-going and we intend to keep improving our efforts during this period of year.”
“Furthermore, we have serious engagements with the gas suppliers through the Gas aggregator (GACN) to lessen related challenges within our control. We believe that this will ensure that our gas supply does not suffer any fatal disruption as necessary to balance the generation within this period.”
“This does not change the fact that we are almost grinding to a halt due to the heavy debt burden of over two hundred billion. We believe that government will expeditedly issue viable and sustainable solutions in this regard.”
Speaking on how efficiently the electricity market can run, she responded: “You must take cognizance of the fact that GenCos and DisCos are two major players in an industry that is complex, diverse and directly sensitive to both the economy and the people of Nigeria. And for that matter, they are at two extremes; generation and distribution, likewise the consumption.”
“There have been blame games being played by the various players in the sector, it does not matter whose voice is loudest. NERC through its regulations have earmarked clearly what each of the players is entitled to”. “The onus now lies on NERC, the regulator to play its role as the impartial umpire to monitor and ensure efficiency. The issue of everyone crying wolf should be fast gone. The truth is, the generation companies have in keeping to the terms of their contract; generated power which has been sold by the distribution companies.”
“We have a contractual relationship with the bulk trader and what we are advocating is, Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) keeps to the terms of the agreement and pay us in full. We are not debt collectors. We have kept to our own part of the bargain, notwithstanding the challenges.”
“What we want is pay us our money.We do not have any contract with the DisCo yet, to ask them to pay us, rather we have a contract with NBET who is the wholesaler in this market with a guarantee to pay us 100%,”
“If DisCos who have contract with NBET have refused or are unable to pay for electricity taken and sold, by the principle of privity of contract, we are not parties hence we cannot be debt collectors. NBET should put a firm and default proof mechanism to make the DisCos pay, ” she said.

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