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Expert identifies measures to tackle power problems


Abuja – Prof. Adeola Adenikinju of the University of Ibadan, has identified diversification of energy sources, decentralisation of electricity transmission and review of relevant electricity acts as measures to tackle challenges in the power sector.
Adenikinju who is the Director, Centre for Petroleum, Energy Economics and Law in the university, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday.
He said that it was unfortunate that the millions of dollars invested in the sector had not translated into the provision of adequate electricity for the people.
“We need to diversify more the sources of our power generation; licences have been issued for other alternative sources, but those alternative sources are not being developed.
“We have coal; we have renewable and many of them are not been look into why?
“We need to look at decentralised options like micro hydro, pico hydro, solar, renewable energy.“
He said it was important for government to review the electricity power reform act 2005 in line with international best practice of electricity value chain.
He also suggested the decentralisation of electricity transmission in the country, given the vast nature of electricity users in the country.
“ We need to re-visit our transmission act of the electricity value chain; people have suggested that why don’t we decentralise it; we can decentralise it, this is a very big country.
“The transmission lines are radial; they are designed such that if there is any break in transmission in any part of the country, the other part of the country will be affected. “
He called for regional decentralisation of transmission through the inclusion of private sector participation to boost electricity transmission in the country.
“If you generate, you don’t have the capacity to transmit what have been generated, then you are as good as not generated anything.
“But if we allow decentralisation, then we can allow the private sector to come in the process of transmitting also.“
He said it was relevant for Distribution Companies (DISCOs) to have an accurate data of electricity consumers under their jurisdiction.
He explained that non availability of accurate statistics on the users of electricity was responsible for the high losses recorded by the distribution companies.
“There are many customers that are not currently being captured because they are not captured and have resulted to lot of losses.“
He said that losses were possible due to people who were connected to electricity without making payment for their consumption.
The expert said that the losses were resulting in the non recouping of investment by the DISCOs.
This, he said, was reducing their capacity to invest in infrastructure needed for electricity distribution.
Adenikinju said that it was important for all the DISCOs to meter all their customers, adding that metering would encourage the consumers to pay their electricity bills and conserve energy.
“Metering also is very important; if you don’t meter houses and you give them bills that are very high, they are tempted to cheat in electricity payment.
He called on government to ensure that private operators in the sector did not operate under a harsh economic environment, adding that provision of incentives would encourage entrepreneurs to invest in the sector. (NAN)

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