THE Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) has said that Nigeria only exports electricity to neighbouring countries for strategic reasons.
The NBET Managing Director Nnaemeka Ewelukwa stated this during his appearance before the House of Representatives Committee on Finance on Tuesday.
“Nigeria sells electricity to the Niger Republic and the Benin Republic. Those transactions of recent have been more driven by specific generation companies like NDPHC,” he said.
He said that one of the core reasons for exporting the nation’s inadequate electricity to these countries was the issue of the damming of the river.
He noted that Nigeria had dammed the river and it it did not provide electricity to upstream countries on the river, they could also build their dams which would create a major crisis for the country.
He noted that NBET had a total of BPAs with about 24 or 25 power generation companies in its portfolio .
According to him, most of the power generation companies were located within the South-South and South-West largely because of gas.
He noted that the issue of evacuation was something at the heart of the priority of the government.
“At the moment, the contracted capacity is about 14,000 megawatt. Out of that 14,000 megawatts, what is available in terms of what the generation companies are capable of producing is around 7,600 megawatts.
“Because of the different constraints within the system at either transmission or distribution level, that 7,600 is not fully available. What you have available on a given day is about 4,000 to 5,000 megawatt.
“To address this gap between what is available and what the system can currently carry, there are a number of intervention projects that the government is currently pursuing, that includes the presidential power initiatives in partnership with Siemens.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is currently supporting the funding of interface projects between transmission and distribution companies.
“To increase power generation, what we need is to increase the corridor for the power to move. There are a number of interface issues between the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and distribution companies that are critical to enhancing power distribution and CBN are currently providing funding to address those interface bottleneck.
“NDPHC is also dealing with transmission and distribution projects. As these interface projects are addressed, there will be enhanced space for the megawatts to move. The government is keen to expedite the time within which this is made available.
“The sector regulator, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), has also concluded performance improvement plans for each of the distribution companies. This plan basically lays out the different infrastructure upgrade the distribution companies are supposed to implement in order to be able to provide more electricity to the citizens.
“The fact that we have the available capacity that is currently not being made fully available to the citizens is something that troubles us. But we are also confident that the different actions being performed by government agencies — NDPHC, TCN, MBET, the central bank in the mix — we are confident that we are heading in the right direction.”