The European Union says Nigeria’s electricity network is operating between 4,500 and 5,500mw, a development that forces the sector to be losing an average of N1.3 billion daily.
The Head of Trade and Economic Section of the EU Delegation, Filippo Amato, made these assertions on behalf of the economic bloc on Tuesday in Abuja, at the second seminar for the Preparation of Performance Improvement Plans organized by electricity distribution companies.
Mr Amato lamented that despite EU’s over €156 million contribution to the industry through different financial instruments, the country’s electricity supply has defied growth.
“Despite efforts made by all of you in tackling some of the key impediments to the development of the sector, the industry losses are still growing at a rate of at least N1.3bn per day and nowadays, the average operational capacity of the grid hovers around 4,500 megawatts and 5,500MW and cannot meet the needs of a growing population and industrial users,” Mr Amato said.
“Over the past years, the European Union has considerably scaled up its support to the sector with over €156.3m committed in different financing instruments, ranging from traditional grants to blended finance.
“We have been able to fund different technical assistance and infrastructural projects cutting across several areas both on and off the grid here in Nigeria,” Mr Amato added.
Like every stakeholder in the sector has harped, Mr Amato reiterated that the illiquidity in the industry is stressing the sector.
“You will agree with me that since the first Performance Improvement Plan seminar that was held in March last year, the Nigerian electricity supply industry is still facing deterioration and the liquidity crisis is keeping the system under stress.”
He also stated that the Discos must reduce their aggregate commercial and technical losses to maximize the available electricity on the grid and reduce the shortage of cash in the system.
“This they (Discos), are supposed to do by reducing their Aggregate Technical, Commercial and Collection losses. By so doing, they will be able to make good use of the available electricity from the grid to serve customers.
“This is one step in the right direction that Discos must take if we want to come out of this liquidity crisis that is affecting the sector,” the EU official stated.
Amato noted that off-grid generators which provide much of Nigeria’s power needs are unsustainable due to its impact on the climate.
The Performance Improvement Plan is funded by the French Development Agency with ANED as implementers.