The Managing Director of Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), Limited, Mr Chiedu Ugbo, has outlined measures being taken by the company towards easing the bottlenecks that have plagued electricity distribution to consumers in the country.
Ugbo stated this while fielding questions from State House correspondents after he led the management of the company to the inaugural meeting of the Governing Board of the NDPHC at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, under Vice-President Kashim Shettima, who is Board Chairman.
Highlighting the major handicap, he said that the whole power grid is challenged by offtake evacuations from transmission and offtake by distribution and that if the distribution is not able to take what the distribution can carry, the transmission will not be able to take what is generated.
To solve the problem, he explained that NDPHC is “working assiduously to ensure end-to-end, from generation to end users. We are working with distribution companies now so we are working with transmission companies to clear the bottlenecks, we also work with distribution companies to clear the bottlenecks to ensure that we reach the end users.
“We equally have distribution interventions all over the country, in all the states, to ensure that we improve the capacity of the distribution companies. Right now, we are working with Eko and Ibadan distribution companies using what we call bilateral sales. So, we sell directly to them. Thankfully, the ones we are selling and some of them are paying us as due.
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“We are also targeting industrial and huge consumers who by the National Electricity Regulatory Commission’s regulation can take two megawatts and above, We are supplying them and we are working on supplying more.”
On the peculiar challenges the NDPHC is facing and efforts to resolve them, Mr. Ugbo said “We have a mandate as the Niger Delta Power, Holding Company Limited. The governments of the Federation, federal, state, and local governments have spent a lot of money in terms of the assets that have developed on behalf of Nigerians.
“The assets are there so we have been charged to make sure that the assets are optimized, for the benefit of Nigerians. We need maximum performance of the assets, particularly the power generation assets, where we have gas limitations.
“We also have transmission and distribution limitations, but we are a government investment and we will work with the relevant stakeholders to make sure we resolve these challenges and to ensure that the load from these power plants is offtaken for the benefit of Nigerians.”
On the need to resolve an outstanding debt of about N180bn owed to the company by the government, the Managing Director said it’s a systemic problem that will also be resolved.
He said, “It is a systemic issue in terms of collections from the distribution companies to the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading NBET (N-BET) and N-BET paying us. It is a systemic issue and because of that, we owe some gas companies as well.
“But I think the regulatory commission with the Federal government; are working on that to see that it’s resolved within the shortest possible time. Yes, we’re being owed no doubt,” Ugbo explained.