The national electricity output, which witnessed a sharp drop to about 2,800 megawatts (MW) on Monday, recovered on Friday to a new peak of 4,387 MW, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has said.
The acting Chief Executive Officer of NERC, Anthony Akah, said the recovery followed the successful repair work on the damaged gas supply facility discovered earlier in the week.
“Electricity supply through the national grid is now ramping up as it attains 4,387 megawatts peak generation as at Friday, March 4, 2016 with a prospect for further improvement in power supply situation,” Mr. Akah said.
Prior to the drop, national peak generation level stood at about 5,070 MW few weeks ago.
But, due to inadequate gas supply through the main gas pipeline supplying many of the power stations, the level of supply suddenly nosedived, throwing most sections of the country into darkness.
Mr. Akah said the drop in gas supply was due to the inability of the Nigerian Gas Company, NGC, to evacuate condensates and crude oil produced along with the gas following the vandalism two weeks ago on the main oil pipeline exporting crude out of Forcados.
The NERC boss said following the successful repair work on the damaged facility, the system was now ramping up to the new peak generation capacity.
With the restoration of normalcy in supply, Mr. Akah urged consumers to cooperate with electricity industry operators and security agencies to stem vandalism on electricity installations across the country.
He also warned the electricity distribution companies, DISCOs, against capitalising on the temporary drop in supply to exploit unmetered electricity customers through arbitrary estimated billing.
“Customer bills for unmetered customers should be as accurate as possible and reflect their actual consumption for the period. It shall, in no circumstance, be arbitrarily inflated,” the NERC boss warned.
He said the reduction in power supply affects both metered and unmetered customers equally during the period, pointing out that for metered customers the drop in their consumption was captured by their meters.
For the unmetered customers, he said it was imperative to ensure that estimated bills during the period were reflective of their actual consumption.
Mr. Akah directed DISCOs to ensure that unmetered and estimated customers have the right and option to pay current estimated electricity billing based on their last undisputed bills where there are concerns with the current estimated electricity bills.
The DISCOs, he explained, should ensure diligence and professionalism in estimating the consumption by unmetered customers based on the provisions of the Billing Estimation Methodology Regulations, 2012.
To ensure strict compliance, the NERC boss hinted that the Commission was deploying monitoring teams to report any act of negligence and extortion.