The Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) have decried a monthly loss of over N30 billion revenue to electricity theft, and called for appropriate legislation to check the act.
According to a statement issued by Mr Sunday Oduntan, Executive Secretary, Research and Advocacy, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), the losses results from the large number of customers, engaged in energy theft, meter bypass, vandalism and unpaid electricity bills.
Oduntan explained that over 40% of electricity consumers do not pay their electricity bills, as they indulge in illegal connection of electricity.
According to NAN, DisCo operators attributed the challenges to form the major part of the DisCos’ Aggregate Technical, Commercial and Collection (ATC&C) losses, and called for effective legislation against them.
“There is need for effective legislation by the National Assembly to checkmate energy theft in the country as the practice is costing the power sector billions of naira monthly.
“The power sector is currently grappling with a liquidity shortfall of over N1.5 trillion occasioned by a combination of adverse conditions among which is the high rate of energy theft,” he said.
Oduntan said that in the presentation by the Discos during, they showed an instance where out of N27.7 billion that was billed for energy consumed in 2019 by unmetered customers, only N5.2 billion was recovered.
With each Disco losing an approximate of N3 billion monthly, the total loss from 11 Discos puts the loss at over N33 billion, he explained.
“The sector cannot continue like this. There is no sector in the world where criminal acts affecting critical sectors are not given special treatment. Until people know that there are penalties for the specific crime of energy theft, this is not going to stop, “Oduntan said.
To reduce these incidences and ensure greater transparency, the companies are working hard to ensure availability of meters. However, this move has to be complemented by specific legislation because of incidences of meter bypass.
“There is a mindset that stealing electricity is okay and that needs to be corrected through the enactment of appropriate legislation,” Oduntan said.
The DisCos were collaborating with security agencies and the judiciary toward enforcing actions that could deter energy theft.
NNPC quells fears over leaking Lagos pipeline
The Corporation says it was on the last stage of completing repairs which includes hydro testing.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) urged Nigerians to ignore reports of a possible fire outbreak from a vandalized pipeline at Aboru Canal in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos state.
“There is no such hazard as the line in question has since been shut down for repairs and presently contains only water,” NNPC said.
Press Release: @NNPCgroup Allays Fears of Possible Fire on Dripping Lagos Pipeline
… Says Leaking Line Contains Water, Not Petrol
— NNPC Group (@NNPCgroup) July 2, 2020
NNPC said that the Atlas Cove-Mosimi stretch of the system 2B pipeline was shut down on June 25, 2020, to enable the comprehensive maintenance of some segment of the pipeline.
The Corporation says it was on the last stage of completing repairs which includes hydro testing (a process of pumping water through the entire pipeline to leak detection and for integrity tests).
Revealing that they stopped pumping water 9:27 am Thursday morning to enable necessary repairs after patrol team made a report about leakage at a point in the Aboru Canal.
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NNPC urges residents of the community to remain calm “as there is no possibility of a fire erupting from the leakage point”.
Nigerian LNG to increase exports, returns profits despite weak gas prices
The gas firm has been able to sell the excess supply at a discount in the spot market.
Nigeria will most likely increase the export of its Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in August and September to the global market if the demand of the commodity goes up despite the crash in prices which is near record lows.
However, in the meantime, the government-owned Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) company has concluded plans to maintain its current supply level to the global market. This is contrary to what some other exporters like the United States and Australia seem to be doing following low prices.
According to a report from Bloomberg, Nigeria exported over 1.8 million tons in the month of June, which is more than last year’s monthly average of 1.7 million tons.
Some of the country’s buyers have effected clauses in their long-term which allows them to take fewer shipments than was originally agreed. The gas firm has been able to sell the excess supply at a discount in the spot market. Over 50% of Nigeria’s exports in May were sold in Asia as against the about 30% that was sold last year.
Natural gas exports have slowed in June as the coronavirus pandemic has negatively affected global demand. Most of the multibillion-dollar projects in natural gas export terminals have been either halted or delayed as a result of the disruptions by the pandemic.
The damage to the gas trade goes well beyond the Middle East as it is affecting similar businesses in Australia, which is reputed to be the world’s largest exporter of LNG and the United States. With the global exports down by 6.3% from the previous year, only a few exporting countries like Qatar and Algeria, have been able to increase output.
The positive for Nigeria is that the production cost at its LNG facility in Bonny island is so low that it can still turn a profit despite the weak spot prices. The facility has been about the lowest costs when compared to similar projects around the world.
Nairametrics had reported that the NLNG just signed the engineering, procurement and construction contract for its train 7 project, which is a major gas expansion plan. The project is expected to boost the country’s LNG output by more than 30%.
The NLNG is a consortium between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Royal Dutch Shell, Total and Eni. The project is coming at a difficult time when LNG prices in Asia and gas prices in Europe have hit a record low due to the coronavirus pandemic which has weakened demand.
Update: FG increases fuel price to N143.80 per litre
This was disclosed by Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) in a circular.
The Federal Government has announced an increase in the new pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, otherwise known as Petrol, to N143.80 per litre.
According to a monitored report, this was disclosed by Executive Secretary of Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Abdulkadir Saidu, in a circular dated Wednesday, July 1, 2020, to oil marketers,
The statement from the circular says, ‘’After a review of the prevailing market fundamentals in the month of June and considering marketers’ realistic operating costs, as much as practicable, we wish to advise a new PMS pump price band of N140.80-N143.80 per litre for the month of July 2020.’’
‘’All marketers are advised to operate within the indicative prices by the PPPRA.’’
He also pointed out that the ex-depot for collection include the statutory charges of bridging fund, maritime transport average, National Transport Allowance and administrative charges.
The federal government had a few months ago announced its plans to stop the subsidy payment regime as they said that the downstream sector of the oil industry will be fully deregulated. The government said that the prices of all petroleum products which includes fuel would be fully determined by market forces, following the removal of the existing cap on fuel prices.
READ ALSO: Subsidy economics
PPPRA had stated that it arrived at the new price regime after taking into consideration the operating costs of the oil marketers.
It can be recalled that at the beginning of the month of June, there was a minor adjustment of fuel price as it was fixed at N121.50 per litre from N123.50 per litre in May. The new price in July represents an over N20 per litre increase when compared to the price last month.