Stakeholders in the country’s electricity market on Wednesday bickered at a public hearing as the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) asked the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to nullify the existing Transition Electricity Market (TEM) to reclaim high power users under the 11 Distribution Companies (DisCos).
At the hearing held in Abuja, the TCN Managing Director, Mr. Usman Gur Mohammed in a presentation said it was imperative for NERC to nullify the Order on TEM so TCN can collect revenue directly from customers on 330/132 kilovolt (KV) lines under DisCos.
The TEM order was introduced in 2013 following the privatisation of the power sector with the aim to engender 100 percent payment for energy delivered to customers by DisCos but DisCos’ revenue performance dipped to below 40 percent since then.
Mohammed argued that the DisCos now use those lines to service their premium customers with no instant return to TCN.
NERC said the hearing was meant to collate opinion of the stakeholders to determine action on TEM.
But the Association of Nigeria Electricity Distributors (ANED) told NERC that amending TEM could plunge the electricity market beyond the current N1.5 trillion shortfall.
The regulatory Specialist at ANED, Prince Adetunji Adeyeye, argued that NERC lacked the power to amend TEM.
“TEM itself is not something that NERC can declare null and void because it doesn’t come under the review processes under section 50 which declares what you can actually review,” he said.
Meanwhile, some Generation Companies (GenCos) and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) threw their weight behind the proposed plan while demanding for a review to cover their interests.
President of MAN, Engr. Mansur Ahmed said, “We support the presentation by TCN because we see in it the opportunity to bring self-improvement and availability in the power we are getting.”