Kaduna Disco’ Strides in Improving Power Supply

Written by on March 4, 2015

Electricity transformers

Electricity transformers

With the privatisation of Power Holding Company of Nigeria and the subsequent handing over to the firms that successfully won their bids, Nigerians have been expecting to see a remarkable improvement in power supply.

However what they may not have realised is the deep level of rot and dilapidation of infrastructure in the industry that especially the distribution companies have had to deal with to ensure efficient distribution of electricity.

Aside from very old transformers – some installed since the 1970s – and cable lines that have become very weak, the need to change both staff attitude to the new private sector led dispensation and for customers to also realise and accept that it is no longer business as usual where individuals used to enjoy power supply relatively free as part of government’s social service to a situation now where they are expected to pay for it – and promptly too – have also posed a very big challenge.

The erratic power supply is also made worse by activities of vandals as pointed out by the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, who disclosed recently that the nation lost over 3,800 megawatts between December 2014 and February 2015. “Between 2014 and now, there have been over 200 incidences on Trans Niger crude oil Pipeline (TNP) in the east affecting Okoloma gas supply. There are also regular interruptions on the west through the Trans Forcados crude oil Pipeline (TFP) affecting gas supply in the west, and Escravos-Lagos Pipeline (ELP) gas pipeline vandalism in the swamp of west Niger Delta”, Nebo said.

He also added that: “A loss of 200million scf/day is equivalent to power reduction of the order of 700MW. On 29 December, they went and vandalised pipelines and that cost us nearly 1,000MW.They vandalise the gas pipelines more and they don’t get anything from it. Two days ago, they struck again after we had arrived at 4000MW and we are down again,” Nebo added.

This inability to generate sufficient amount of electricity for transmission to the Discos for onward distribution to consumers has in recent times been the bane of power supply in the country. But despite the gloom, discos are not sitting by and blaming others for the problem, they are devising ways to improve their efficiencies to ensure they succeed in delivering their mandate of improved power supply.

The Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company,(KAEDCO) for example, has taken steps to ensure that in the coming few months, it deploys over 100,000 meters to its customers across Kaduna, Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states. It secured the meters after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with El-Sewedy of Egypt and ZTE Corporation during a recent visit of a delegation of its Board to Cairo and Shenzhen. The metres, which are to be delivered within four months comprise Energy, industrial and residential meters.

To minimise the challenges of low allocation of power to the Disco, the MD, Garba Haruna embarked on an assessment tour of some transmission and distribution facilities within the jurisdiction of Kaduna Disco covering Kaduna, Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states. In Sokoto, he visited the state owned independent power project where he commended the state government for initiating the project, which he said will assist the Disco in improving power supply to the state. He told journalists that the Disco is collaborating with the state government’s IPP to bridge power allocation from the national grid to ensure improved supply within the zone. The Director General of the project, Mr. Umar Bandi, said the project, which had gulped over N3.8 billion is expected to generate about 38.5 megawatts upon completion.

During his visit to the Electricity Transmission Work Centre in Birnin Kebbi,  Garba harped on the need for cooperation and synergy between the transmission company and Kaduna Disco to ensure efficiency in power supply to consumers.
The Managing Director informed the transmission company that the Disco is ready to partner with the transmission company to improve the capacity limitations on power transformers and other accessories that hinder the delivery of power to the Disco.

Garba also told journalists at the end of the tour that the zone, which required an average daily supply of power of between 600 to 700 megawatts was now getting only between 100 to 250 megawatts. This, he explained, gave rise for the daily rationing of power between the four states. The MD further stated that the firm was deploying new technologies to improve its cash collections and block areas of revenue leakages. ” We have a monthly projected cash collection of between N 3 billion to N 4 billion while we are only realising  a paltry N 1 billion monthly which cannot even cover the cost of power.

The KAEDCO boss explained further that the need to deploy new meters has become necessary as: “it will improve our efficiency in power supply and bolster the confidence of the customers in our new firm.” He added that: “Currently, only between 20 to 25 per cent of our customers in the four states were metered and this is telling on our revenue generation”. The MD also said efforts are being put in place to ensure that Kaduna Disco has improved power supply. He called on customers to pay their bills promptly and take advantage of he nee meters to be deployed and cooperate with CAPMI service providers to ensure full customer metering in the next five years.

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