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Nigeria’s Failing Power Sector Can Be Saved By These Steps (Part 1)

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A heat wave has swept through Lagos recently, which is usual for this time of the year.

What is unusual though is that in the year 2016 (some 216 yearsafter electricity was discovered), most residents of this mega city of 22 million plus people have no electricity to cool their homes in response to the biting heat.

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The lack of power largely boils down to market failure resulting from bad policies.

Nigeria’s rulers since 1960 (including the current one who had a first stint as President in 1983), have managed to create a situation where millions of citizens demand a product/ service (electricity), are willing to generate power themselves at a higher price (up to N70/kwh) with Generators, but cannot get it supplied to them from their local utilities.

The situation is made worse by the fact that Nigeria sits on 187 trillion scf of gas, one of the largest energy resources in the world.

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Where we are today

After the privatization of most of the power chain by the last government, today the country still generates only about 4,000 megawatts and can wheel out (transmit) about 7,000 mw, whereas demand is estimated at close to 20,o00 mw and increasing at 3 – 4 percent per annum as the country’s  population grows.

It is obvious that the whole power chain is in need of revamp from the Generating Companies (Gencos), Gas producers, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Distribution Companies (Discos), NERC and NBET.

Gencos

The handover of 6 PHCN Generating assets to new private sector owners was only the beginning of a long drawn journey fraught with pitfalls as the new owners struggle to undo decades of rot in the electricity sector.

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Majority stakes in Gencos located in Geregu (434mw), Ughelli (832mw), Sapele (1,020mw), Shiroro (600mw) and Kainji (760mw) were sold in 2013 to companies including Transcorp, Sahara Power and Forte Oil Plc.

Patricia

In some ways the Gencos have seen the most progress since privatization with real Capital expenditure being seen.

Transnational Corp. of Nigeria Plc has doubled the output of its acquired Ughelli power plant, from levels they were at pre privatisation from 150 megawatts (MW) to over 338 mw.

Transcorp has also contracted General Electric (GE) to increase the output at the plant -acquired at a cost of $300 million – to 1000 MW.

Sahara Power and Forte have also expanded capacity at their plants from pre-privatisation levels, while new Independent Power Plants (IPPs) are coming on stream such as the Azura-Edo IPP which comprises a 450MW gas fired plant.

The biggest problem and opportunity today with Generation however lies with the 10 NIPPs with a capacity to produce 4,774 MW which are near 70 – 90 percent completion but for which there seems to be no policy from the current government on moving ahead with their privatisation.

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Getting the NIPPs right can easily double Nigeria’s production capacity to over 10,000 MW in about 2 years. This would entail this Government moving clearly to restart their privatisation and also freeing up the gas space to enable enough gas get to the plants as they are all gas fired (more on this later).

TCN

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) is one of the weaker links in the power supply chain.

Even if Nigeria can double its power generating capacity to over 10,000 MW, TCNs existing transmission system, is only capable of delivering about 7,000MW of generation to the distribution companies (Discos) Trading Points, and is inadequate to meet expected growth with NIPP and various IPP generation projects coming online.

Inadequate maintenance of the transmission network over the years has also resulted in high technical losses on the transmission network.

To make matters worse TCN today is technically insolvent.

The existing MYTO transmission tariffs and billing collections are inadequate for the company to finance its operations according to San Francisco based consulting firm Nexant in a financial assessment of TCN covering the 2011 to 2013 period.

“The company is consistently unable to meet its obligations to suppliers/contractors in compliance with terms of contracts,” Nexant said.

TCN’s Performance in terms of transmission losses deteriorated between 2011 and 2013, increasing from 10.4 percent in 2011 to 12.1 percent in 2012/13, before falling to 8 percent in 2014, according to data from Nexant and NERC.

Non-collection of tariff charges is also a significant recurring problem for TCN.

The Interim Market Rules (pre-TEM) provides for collection of 70 percent for Transmission Service Provider (TSP) and 60 percent for System Operations (SO) and the Market Operations (MO), which are TCNs three separate and interdependent departments.

However, the overall average collection rate in 2013 was around 60 percent. TCN for instance had N36.3 billion in wheeled power revenue billed in 2013 but only collected N22.1 billion from its customers.

TCN made pre-tax losses of N13.7 billion ($88 million) in the 2012/13 with negative operative margin of around 18 percent, based on unaudited financial statements, seen by Nairametrics.

The number of staff employed by TCN increased from 3,334 in 2011 to around 4,210 by end 2013.

The increase in staff numbers was far greater than the growth in wheeled energy and as a result the energy wheeled per staff declined from 8.1GWh in 2011 to 6.9GWh in 2013.

As a result of this TCN spent N13.5 billion on payroll in 2013 but only N3.73 billion on repairs and maintenance.

From the above numbers it can be seen that TCN needs to be urgently privatized and Transmission Decentralised.

TCN is currently owned by Government but has a management contract with Manitoba of Canada.

There are often turf battles between it and the Ministry of Power.

TCN also needs to be able to raise long term bonds in the private markets to boost capex grow its assets and gain from the expected increase in Generating Capacity.

Getting TCN right will mean that the biggest clog in the wheels of Nigeria’s power sector has been solved and transmission can keep up with the growth in generation.

The Government has to begin the process of privatizing TCN to eliminate the bottlenecks hindering its growth. If this is not done the power sector will not be able to deliver electricity to Nigeria as the sector is only as strong as its weakest links.

Nairametrics is Nigeria's top business news and financial analysis website. We focus on providing resources that help small businesses and retail investors make better investing decisions. Nairametrics is updated daily by a team of professionals. Post updated as "Nairametrics" are published by our Editorial Board.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 5th of June 2020, 328 new confirmed cases and 10 deaths were recorded in Nigeria bringing the total confirmed cases recorded in the country to 11,844.

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COVID-19: FCMB reschedule operations

The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to rise as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 11,844 confirmed cases.

On the 5th of June 2020, 328 new confirmed cases and 10 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.

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To date, 11844 cases have been confirmed, 3696 cases have been discharged and 333 deaths have been recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory having carried out 73,064 tests.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 5th June 2020

  • Total Number of Cases – 11,844
  • Total Number Discharged – 3,696
  • Total Deaths – 333
  • Total Tests Carried out – 73,064

The 328 new cases were reported from 14 states- Lagos (121), FCT (70), Bauchi (25), Rivers (18), Oyo (16), Kaduna (15), Gombe (14), Edo (13), Ogun (13), Jigawa (8), Enugu (6), Kano (5), Osun (2), Ondo (2).

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

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The latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 5663, followed by Kano (985), Abuja at 862, Katsina (385), Edo (364), Kaduna (335), Oyo (334), Ogun (329), Borno (322), Rivers (308), Jigawa (282),  Bauchi (281),  Gombe (184), Kwara (127).

Delta State has recorded 116  cases, Sokoto (115), Plateau (113), Nasarawa (90), Ebonyi (80), Zamfara (76),  Yobe (52), Osun (49), Imo (47), Akwa Ibom (45), Adamawa (42), Niger (41), Ondo (38),  Kebbi  (33), Bayelsa and Enugu (30), Ekiti (25), Taraba (18), Abia (15), Benue (13), Anambra (12), while Kogi state has recorded only 3 cases.

Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

 

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READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

Patricia
DateConfirmed caseNew casesTotal deathsNew deathsTotal recoveryActive casesCritical cases
June 5, 20201184432833310369678157
June 4, 2020115163503238353576467
June 3, 2020111663483151332975227
June 2, 20201081924131415323972667
June 1, 20201057841629912312271579
May 31, 20201016230728714300768687
May 30, 2020985555327312285667267
May 29, 202093023872612269763447
May 28, 202089151822595259260647
May 27, 202087333892545250159787
May 26, 2020834427624916238557107
May 25, 202080682292337231155247
May 24, 202078393132265226353607
May 23, 202075262652210217451317
May 22, 2020726124522110200750337
May 21, 2020701633921111190748987
May 20, 202066772842008184046377
May 19, 202064012261921173444757
May 18, 202061752161919164443407
May 17, 202059593881826159441837
May 16, 202056211761765147239737
May 15, 202054452881713132039544
May 14, 202051621931683118038154
May 13, 202049711841646107037374
May 12, 20204787146158695936704
May 11, 202046412421521090235894
May 10, 202043992481421777834794
May 9, 202041512391271174532784
May 8, 202039123861181067931154
May 7, 20203526381108460128184
May 6, 20203145195104553425071
May 5, 2020295014899548123704
May 4, 2020280224594641722912
May 3, 2020255817088240020702
May 2, 20202388220861735119522
May 1, 20202170238691035117512
April 30, 2020193220459731715562
April 29, 2020172819652730713692
April 28, 2020153219545425512322
April 27, 20201337644102559942
April 26, 20201273914152399942
April 25, 20201182873632229252
April 24, 202010951143312088552
April 23, 20209811083231977532
April 22, 2020873912931976482
April 21, 20207821172631975602
April 20, 2020665382311884662
April 19, 2020627862221704362
April 18, 2020541482021663562
April 17, 2020493511841593172
April 16, 2020442351311522772
April 15, 2020407341211282672
April 14, 202037330111992632
April 13, 202034320100912422
April 12, 20203235100852282
April 11, 202031813103702382
April 10, 20203051770582402
April 9, 20202881471512302
April 8, 20202742260442262
April 7, 20202541661442042
April 6, 2020238650351982
April 5, 20202321851331942
April 4, 2020214540251850
April 3, 20202092542251800
April 2, 20201841020201620
April 1, 2020174352091630
March 31, 202013982091280
March 30, 2020131202181210
March 29, 2020111221031070
March 28, 20208919103850
March 27, 2020705103660
March 26, 20206514102620
March 25, 2020517102480
March 24, 2020444102410
March 23, 20204010112370
March 22, 2020308002280
March 21, 20202210001210
March 20, 2020124001110
March 19, 20208000170
March 18, 20208500170
March 17, 20203100030
March 16, 20202000020
March 15, 20202000020
March 14, 20202000020
March 13, 20202000020
March 12, 20202000020
March 11, 20202000020
March 10, 20202000020
March 9, 20202100020
March 8, 20201000010
March 7, 20201000010
March 6, 20201000010
March 5, 20201000010
March 4, 20201000010
March 3, 20201000010
March 2, 20201000010
March 1, 20201000010
February 29, 20201000010
February 28, 20201100010

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Companies

CBN debits banks another N459.7 billion for failure to meet CRR target

Sadly, this move, in addition to similar policies by the CBN, has left many banks cash-strapped and unable to pursue various profitable ventures.

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CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has debited twenty-six banks, including merchant banks, to the tune of N459.7 billion for failure to meet their CRR (Cash Reserve Ratio) obligations. The fresh debit, which Nairametrics reliably gathered occurred yesterday, has left many stakeholders in the banking sector very upset.

The details: Among the banks that were most affected are United Bank for Africa Plc (N82.3 billion), First Bank of Nigeria Ltd (N59.3), Zenith Bank Plc (N50 billion), First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited (N45 billion), and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (N40 billion). The rest of the affected banks can be seen in the table below.

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Note that the latest CRR debits are coming barely one month after a lot of banks were collectively debited to the tune of N1.4 trillion for the same reason in April. Between then and now, a lot of other minor CRR debits have occurred. Nairametrics understands that the apex bank now debits banks on a weekly basis.

Some backstory: During the CBN’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting that was held last month, committee members voted to retain CRR rate at 27.5%. The rate was increased in January this year from 5% to its current level after the apex bank cited inflationary pressure concerns. What this means, therefore, is that Nigerian banks are required to keep 27.5% of their deposits as CRR with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

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But banks are silently upset: Sadly, this move, in addition to similar policies by the CBN, has left many banks cash-strapped and unable to pursue various profitable ventures. While reacting to the latest development, a banker who refused to be identified, said:

“What we’ve seen in recent times is that the CBN just indiscriminately debits banks, usually towards the stale-end of every week. They will look at your bank account and if your liquidity is plenty, they will debit you.

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“You know the central bank also does what we call retail FX intervention, that is when they sell FX to corporates. Now, because they don’t want banks coming with huge demands, what they do is that a day before the FX sales, they debit the banks so that the naira you have available is small and you cannot put them under pressure because of your FX demands. That has really been the driver.

READ ALSO: Central banks digital currencies pose a threat against the U.S dollar

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“We understand that the central bank had set up a special CRR team that is supposed to monitor banks’ CRR once a month. But now, the team monitors banks’ CRR on a weekly basis. This is why the central bank is effectively debiting banks on a weekly basis. Some weeks ago, they debited some banks about N1.4 trillion. That was one of many. Between that time and now, there have been more debits that have happened. But the debits that are huge/significant are what is troubling the banks. There was a N300 billion that happened about two weeks ago. and then yesterday that was this N459.7 billion that was also debited.

Patricia

“These are huge amounts that are leaving the banking sector. It’s a squeeze on the banks. A bank like First Bank, for instance, has about N1.4 trillion in CRR with the Central Bank. And there is Zenith Bank with equally as much as N1.5 trillion. These are monies that banks can potentially put in loans at 52% at 30%, or even put in money market instruments at maybe 10%. So, for a shareholder of these banks, this CRR debits are impairing the banks’ ability to increase their earnings because now are not able to use the funds that are legitimately theirs to create money for their shareholders. And the question is that under what framework is the Central Bank choosing to take people’s money?”

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Business News

Precious metals slump, investors focus on Central Bank’s intervention

Gold fell on Friday morning to $1,717.10. as global investors await the release of Friday’s U.S non-farm payrolls data for May

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Nigeria Mining Sector shows growth prospect despite low bank credit provision, Gold hits eight-year high as global recession sentiments strengthened, Gold hits three weeks high, Investors rush to gold, Gold Future Drops to $1727.80 as Tensions Escalate between America and China, Precious metals slump, investors focus on Central Bank’s intervention

Spot gold went slightly lower, trading at $1,711.57 per ounce by 4 am local time on Friday morning and gold futures was down to $1,717.10.

Gold collapsed like a house of cards as investors overlooked civil unrest in the United States and heavily focused on hopes around central bank intervention and economic recovery,” said Lukman Otunuga, senior research analyst at FXTM.

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READ MORE: Why the NNPC wants $5 billion advance payments for Nigeria’s crude

Gold fall on Friday morning also came as global investors await the release of Friday’s U.S (United States.) non-farm payrolls data for May, scheduled to be released at 1.30 pm Nigerian local time.

“There are quite a few market participants still bargain-hunting gold given the fundamental backdrop of the coronavirus crisis and ongoing recession,” Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke said.

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(READ MORE: Gold prices surge by 17.4% in 2 months due to global economic crisis)

However, investors are still waiting to see whether the easing of restrictions will lead to a second wave of infections, supporting demand for gold, Menke added.

Gold, Gold prices tick up as President Trump decides on China today, Gold Prices Surges, Protests Erupts In America, Precious metals slump, investors focus on Central Bank’s intervention

What you need to know about Precious metals: Precious metals include gold, silver, and platinum. Gold and silver are the most popular metals, and have been used by jewelers, and as wealth status symbols since ancient times. Global investors use precious metals to hedge against inflation.

READ ALSO: Global oil market to re-balance in 2 months’ time

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Meanwhile, palladium gained 0.34% to $1,947 an ounce, while platinum lost 0.31% to $833.91. Silver was down 0.63% to $17.9 4am local time, having hit a more than three-month high of $18.36 on Monday. 

Patricia

“Some people are buying silver just because it’s much cheaper than gold (or) platinum,” a trader from Tokyo-based retailer Tokuriki Honten said.

 

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