The capacity of the 11 electricity distribution companies, also known as the DisCos, to absorb more power generated by the generators GenCos has grown by just 18 percent since the sector was privatized almost nine years ago.

A breakdown of statistics from GenCos’ joint body, the Association of Power Generating Companies, APCG, revealed that in 2013, although the GenCos were producing 4,214 megawatts at the time, the DisCos could only absorb 3,183, leaving a deficit of 1,030 MW.

In 2014, GenCos production grew to 6,154 MW per day. However, available data showed that the DisCos could account for just over half of the production, 3,419 MW.

Again, in 2015, power generation grew to 6,616 MW. However, for no apparent reason, the DisCos fell short of the target by absorbing 3,606 MW per day.

In the following years, 2016, 2017 and 2018, the GenCos were able to increase the power generation to 7,039 MW, 6,871 MW and 7,506 MW respectively. However, the DisCos were able to take in 3,212 MW, 3,599 MW and 3,807 MW, respectively.

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According to data from APGC, power generation in 2019 was 7,381 MW per day. Production dropped to 7,792 MW in 2020 and then 6,3336 MW per day in 2021. However, the DisCos were able to absorb 3,782 MW, 3,782 MW and 4,050 MW respectively.

The GenCos so far said they could have produced 5,516 MW per day from January to July 2022, but the DisCos could have absorbed 3,802 MW per day.

Experts say Nigeria needs at least 30,000 MW to get enough power.

The DisCos have consistently attributed their inability to absorb all of the power produced by the GenCos to their lack of capacity to collect tariffs, which had led to industry failures.

Speaking at the ‘Power Sector Dilemma: Issues, Challenges, Opportunities And Strategic Key Solutions’ recently in Lagos, Joy Ogaji, Executive Secretary of APGC, DisCos owed them many thanks since the privatization of N2trn.

“GenCos do not owe N500bn, as accepted by NBET. We owe N2 trillion, while we owe our suppliers N1trn.

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“Nigerians don’t want power because there’s no demand for it. For example, Egbin, which has more than 1000 capacity, has not been able to generate 800 MW because there is no demand.”

The Executive Secretary of the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distribution Companies, ANED, Sunday Oduntan, could not be reached for comment.

However, the Ikeja Electric spokesperson denied in an interview with The PUNCH that DisCos could not absorb everything produced by the GenCos.

“For what they’re generating now, how many megawatts goes into each DisCo that we can’t take? Our current infrastructure is able to choose what they give us. How much do they even give us daily? Ikeja Electric takes the most, and it is 15 percent of what is generated, between 400-500 MW per day. And it’s not every day that we get that,” he said.

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