Published On: Fri, May 19th, 2017

Nigerians need power, blames among operators do not solve problems-Saleeman

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FG generates 1, 726MW of electricityBy Etuka Sunday

The Market Operator (MO), Nigerian Electricity Market (NEM), Mr Moshood Saleeman said yesterday that the language Nigerians understand is power, therefore, the current blame game being traded by electricity operators in the market would not solve the problems.
Moshood said, over three years into privatized electricity market in Nigeria with over two years of operating the Transitional Electricity Market (TEM), liquidity and infrastructure challenges are still holding the Market from growing to its potential.
He said, Nigeria has the highest population and also a high rated GDP in Africa, but more than half of the citizens do not have access to grid connected supply of electricity with a consumption of less than 150kwh per capita.
“This is below the average consumption in countries with similar GDP. So the expectation of Nigerians from Power industry is very high. All other sectors of the economy are being held back by inadequacies of the industry.
Lots of blame games are being traded in the market today, but blames do not solve problems,” he said.
The Head of Market Operations who spoke in a Keynote address during market participants workshop organised by MO in Abuja, urged the participants especially the operators to brainstorm and come up with solutions to some of the challenges identified.
He said: “what will solve the problems is our collective ability to take the necessary/appropriate actions within the various areas of our responsibilities. So our call today is that BLAME GAME should STOP while APPROPRIATE ACTIONS should START. We all have the responsibility of building an efficient and sustainable Electricity Market.
“Efficient electricity markets work to the benefit of all (Government, investors and end-users). All stakeholders in the market have lots to do in facilitating sustainable growth and efficiency of the market; therefore, we all need to do the needful.”
According to him: “Liquidity is key in an electricity Market; Federal Government of Nigeria is doing a lot to tackle liquidity challenges through facilitating the role of Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET) as the off-taker in the market. We hope to see reasonable improvement in this regard soon. However, as operators/participants in the market, we all know that more needs to be done:
We need more power generation.
We need more Transmission capacity.
We need more Distribution capacity.
We need good balancing of demand and supply – Balancing Market.
We need econometric approach as the variables of the economy are exogenous.”
The MO said: “Security and quality of electricity supply largely depend on these needs. Therefore, we need to work towards harnessing the huge un-utilized Generation capacity, accelerate completion of critical transmission infrastructure projects, reinforcement & expansion of Distribution network and deployment of consumers metering. These will enable the market meet the need of end-users as well as the revenue recovery for the entire value-chain.
“Also critical for success of the market and the entire industry are issues of transparency and compliance with relevant rules/codes in the market. The rules/codes are areas of our defaults; we are calling on all stakeholders to uphold these rules/codes for the overall success of the industry. Henceforth, MO will enforce the rules and penalize defaulters,” he said.
Speaking earlier in his welcome address, the Head, Independent System Operations (ISO), Engr. Musa Gummel said, “no doubt, there are several challenges in the Electricity Market. Chief of them all is the current liquidity problem. The market has not been able to recover 100% of its invoices, and this is a critical problem. I believe that as operators from the various value-chain of the power system meet and discuss more regularly, then innovative solutions would be proffered to get us out of the woods.
“With regards to System Operations, we are trying as much as possible to upgrade the manpower of our system operators as well as infrastructure to be able to manage the system more efficiently and minimize system collapses to ensure stable flow of electricity in the system.
“It is import that all stakeholders in all the power system value-chain work together as a team to ensure that we support each other so that the industry would grow in leaps and bounds,” he said.

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