The capacity of the 11 electricity distribution companies, otherwise known as the DisCos, to absorb more power generated by generating companies, GenCos, grew by a mere 18 percent since the sector was privatized nearly nine years ago.
A breakdown of the statistics sourced from the joint body of GenCos, the Association of Power Generating Companies, APCG, revealed that in 2013, although the GenCos produced 4, 214 megawatts at that time, the DisCos could absorb only 3, 183, leaving a deficit of 1, 030MW.
In 2014, GenCos’ production grew to 6, 154MW per day. However, available data showed that the DisCos could take a little over half of the production, 3, 419MW.
Again, in 2015, power generation grew to 6, 616MW. However, for no clear reason, the DisCos fell short of the target by absorbing 3, 606MW per day.
In subsequent years, 2016, 2017, and 2018, the GenCos were able to increase power generation to 7, 039MW, 6, 871MW, and 7, 506MW respectively. However, the DisCos were able to take 3, 212MW, 3, 599MW, and 3, 807MW respectively.
In 2019, according to data provided by APGC, power generation was 7, 381MW per day. The generation fell to 7, 792MW in 2020, and then 6, 3336MW per day in 2021. However, the DisCos were able to take 3, 782MW, 3, 782MW, and 4, 050MW respectively.
The GenCos said so far, they had been able to generate 5, 516MW daily from January to July 2022, but the DisCos had been able to absorb 3, 802MW per day.
Experts say Nigeria needs at least 30, 000MW to attain power sufficiency.
The DisCos have consistently blamed their inability to absorb the whole of power produced by the GenCos on their lack of capacity to retrieve tariffs, which had led to shortfalls in the sector.
While speaking during the ‘Power Sector Dilemma: Issues, Challenges, Opportunities And Strategic Key Solutions’ recently in Lagos, Executive Secretary of APGC, Joy Ogaji, DisCos was indebted to them to the tune of N2trn since privatization.
“GenCos are not owed N500bn as accepted by NBET. We are owed N2 trillion, while we owe our suppliers N1trn.
“Nigerians don’t want power because there is no demand for it. For instance, Egbin which has over 1000 capacity has not been able to generate 800MW because there’s no demand.”
The Executive Secretary for the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distribution Companies, ANED, Sunday Oduntan, could not be reached for comments.
However, the Spokesperson for Ikeja Electric, in an interview with The PUNCH, denied that DisCos could not absorb all that was being produced by GenCos.