The Director-General, BPE, Alex Okoh, announced this at the signing ceremony of the SPA in Abuja.
In 2013, Yola Disco and 10 other Discos were officially privatized, but after about two years, the core investor in YEDC at the time, Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Company, declared force majeure and returned the Disco to the Federal Ministry of Power.
Integrated Energy had acquired 60 percent equity in the YEDC after paying $146.8m, but declared a force majeure in 2015, citing insecurity in the North-East region of the country where the company covered.Following this, the company was repossessed by the Federal Government, but in July 2021 the BPE announced that it had resold the company to a new investor, Quest Electricity Nigeria Limited.
This came as Akamnonu stated that the Discos would have to improve on their performance in order to stay afloat, service their various obligations, and prevent being taken over.
He said, “It is not in doubt, for even the blind can feel their poor performance. It is everywhere. Sometimes you hear that they cannot evacuate energy that is generated. And what are the causes? The power expert noted that another concern had to do with metering, stressing that the country’s metering gap was so wide and that because of this, the rate of tariff collection had remained poor.
“The naira they collect per unit of energy sold is much lower than what is required,” Akamnonu stated.
He added, “When you bill people on estimation, you can either charge them more or less. But from our study, most Discos don’t make the required earnings from estimation.
“People cry out that estimation is high. Yes, it is high for some people but not for everyone. If you come to an area where people are not metered, during the daytime you will see people leaving their lights on.
“And this is because they are actually not paying appropriately for the energy they are consuming. So they tend to waste energy. Therefore, demand-side management is better when a customer is metered.”He observed that the rate of rollout of meters was very low, adding that if a higher percentage of customers were appropriately metered, the Discos would collect more revenue and the total energy demand would reduce.