April 16, 2024

DisCos secure N273.24bn loan to buy meters, others — CBN


THE Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has disclosed that 11 Electricity Distribution Companies, DisCos, recently secured a credit facility aggregating about N273.34 billion to buy 414,000 meters for distribution to consumers.

In the apex bank’s report gleaned by EnergyDay, which detailed the transactions of the N10.3 trillion developmental finance between 2015 and 2022, CBN, it was revealed that the meters bought included maximum demand meters, Smart meters, and Single-Phase meters.
The loan, disbursed under the Nigerian Electricity Market Stabilization Facility intervention project was primed to augument electricity capacity from 3,400 megawatts, MW to approximately 4,900MW.

According to the breakdown, the Ikeja Disco took possession of N40.74 billion from the intervention programme, while the Eko Disco got N34.85 billion.
Also, Abuja Distribution Company was given N34.69 billion, while Ibadan Disco secured N27.73 billion, Enugu Disco borrowed N27.84 billion, while Kaduna Disco borrowed N24.36 billion.

The report also spotlighted major issues identified in the program, including an inefficient market defined by market liquidity debacles, foreign exchange paucity , and inadequate electricity distribution infrastructure.

The power sector in Nigeria struggles in grappling with a motley of challenges, which do not exclude poor electricity supply resulting from outdated infrastructure, significant infrastructural drawback, and a worrisome lack of investment within the sector.

However, investigations by EnergyDay revealed that inconsistent government policies have disrupted the execution of phase 2 of Nigeria’s Distribution Sector Recovery Program, DISREP, a World Bank-funded 1,250,000 metering programme, targeted at procuring and distributing smart electricity meters to 11 Electricity Distribution Companies, DisCos.

The former President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration had concertedly carried out the nation’s metering programme to positively promote indigenous production, deepen local capacity, conserve foreign exchange, and create additional one million direct jobs and three million indirect employment opportunities through the granting of import duty waiver and other incentives, targeted at enhancing their operations.
This culminated in the building of Nigeria’s capacity to produce 4.9 million prepaid electricity meters yearly for installation, thus assisting in conserving foreign exchange for the government.
But the phase 2 of DISREP approved by the Federal Executive Council, FEC, for the supply and installation of 1,250,000 Fully Built Units, FBUs that is managed by the Project Implementation Unit, PMU of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, and supervised by the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE is completely structured to favour foreign companies, than the 35 local manufacturers of the product in Nigeria.

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