Electricity Market Operator Threatens To Escrow Accounts Of Distribution Companies

The electricity distribution companies in Nigeria, DISCOs, have been called out by the Nigerian Electricity Market Operator to improve their monthly remittances to the market or have their accounts escrowed.

The Market Operator, Mr Moshood Saleeman was speaking at the Stakeholders Workshop that had the representatives of all market participants including generating companies, GENCOS, distribution companies, DISCOs, and other service providers.

According to the Market Operator, the Nigerian Electricity Market is in bad shape as the DISCOs make only 30% remittances on the invoices they get on monthly basis and that such poor remittances have critical negative impacts on the operations of other operators and segments of the value chain, especially the generation and gas companies.

It would be recalled that the generation companies have threatened to shut down their turbines as a result of  huge market debts. Some have even gone to court to get reliefs.

Mr Saleeman believes that the DISCOs have to improve on their monthly remittances, otherwise their accounts would be escrowed and their security deposits would be called up in the event of default. He also urged all market participants to recommit themselves to the market and embrace market discipline and compliance for the greater good of the sector and the nation at large.

The MD/CEO, TCN, Engr (Dr.) Atiku Abubakar, who was represented by the MD, TSP, Engr Tom Uwah called on the DISCOs and other market participants to shun indiscipline and disregard to the ruling documents. He stated that lack of funds from the market has affected the completion of several TSP projects aimed at upgrading TCN capacity to wheel more power to the DISCOs.

He however announced that TCN would achieve  6000MW wheeling capacity by the end of 2016.

Speaking while welcoming guests, the MD, Independent System Operation, ISO, Engr Musa Gumel also called on market participants to respect the ruling documents in the industry and refrain from self-help and even resorting to the courts. He advocated that market participants should explore all the dispute resolution platforms established by the regulator for the resolution of any dispute in the industry.

Two detailed presentations were made at the workshop. Mr Benedict Ogbu, Head, Settlement, Market Operation, presented a paper on ‘Billing and Settlement Issues’ in which he enlightened participants on the billing and settlement process in the market.

The second presentation was by Prof Chidi Onyia, Head, Power Team, NAÏF, on ‘Market Discipline’. In the paper, the Prof shared the blames for the current parlous state of the market among all market participants. And in order to remedy the situation, he called on all participants to recommit themselves to market discipline, transparency and respect of all contractual agreements and obligations to enable the market operate effectively and achieve the desired outcomes.



(l-r) Market Operator, Mr Moshood Saleema; MD, Convenant Plus Engineering, Mr Alabi Olaoluwa; Head, Power Team, NAÏF, Prof Chidi Onyia; MD, ISO, Engr Musa Gumel; GM, Regulation, Engr Ahmed Kaitafi and AGM, ICT, Mrs Oni

Author

Clement Ezeolisah AGM (Public Affairs) ISO.

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