For example, the government created the great regulatory bodies and support organizations to strengthen the industry such as:
NEMSA (Personnel and Materials),
NERC (Tariff regulations, operating license, standards),
NAPTIN (Training all aspects) and
NBET (guaranties/enables conditions for electricity trading).
But those areas where the populace would most feel the impact, was given by government to private people in the most opaque manner.
So here are some of the problems we are now facing:
- Funding is a major issue throughout the value chain. The fund to maintain the existing generating plants and maybe build new ones are simply not available.
- Most of the buyers of our NESI asset used borrowed funds and their first task in the near future is to pay back and still manage to use the old facilities to keep the network going, by hook or crook.
- Still on finance; a recent study confirmed that the debt in the industry is around N400B, because the DISCOs are collecting around 20% of what PHCN used to collect.
- Another study has shown that as a result of ageing equipment and poor financial state, the DISCOs cannot consistently deliver above 60% of power received from the grid.
- The $7 million yearly management contract awarded to Manitoba has not significantly improved the network. For example, the total system collapses we have experienced since they took over in 2013 has not significantly reduced, compared to when they were not here. This year alone, we have experience over 20 system collapse. Also, the company has not been able to attract funding to expand our transmission line.
- Gas supply to the generating plants has been significantly cut by sabotage. Unfortunately, most of the new owners do not have the funds to build storage tanks as backup
- PHCN only transformed into regional monopolies in form of DISCOs and we know that with a monopoly you have no choice.....you are at their mercy!
So, going forward, the situation is very bleak indeed. I guarantee you that there no quick fixes, irrespective of what the politicians, from either sides pronounce and/or promise!
NEXT: We hope to propose some solutions.
@Tunde Y. Salihu, 2016