The NERC said complete resolutions of the technical and operational challenges in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, NESI, remained a top priority.

“We are currently working to ensure that the Payment Assurance Facility for ensuring that GenCos honour their obligation to gas suppliers comes to an end. The Commission is finalising an Escrow Arrangement for the industry that will provide payment security for GenCos and gas suppliers pending full activation of contract obligations,” it said.

The average load factor across all plants stood at 61.74 per cent in 2020, indicating that an average power plant operating in the year 2020 had 61.74 per cent of its available capacity dispatched by the System Operator, SO. This represents a slight increase of 1.06 percentage points from the 60.68 per cent recorded in 2019.

Kanji, Jebba and Shiroro hydro plants, respectively, had 83.60 per cent, 78.73 per cent and 67.59 per cent of their available capacities dispatched by the SO and were respectively first, third and eighth plants with the highest dispatch rates.

Thus, NERC said the dispatch rates of the three hydro plants complied with its Order NERC/182/2019, declaring hydropower plants as “must-run” by SO.

The Order was to ensure that hydro plants were efficiently dispatched, given their low tariffs and in consideration of safety associated with spilling water from dams during the rainy season.

In 2020, Azura power plant had a load factor of 79.74 per cent while Sapele NIPP had the least dispatch rate of 33.71 per cent.

A report by The PUNCH in July chronicled the drop in the combined generation capacity of the country’s 26 power plants by 70 per cent.

Data revealed that the capacity of the plants dropped from a total of 13, 461MW to 4,022MW when they were last tested in July 2021.

A spokesperson for GenCos, Joy Ogaji, declined comments on the perennial low power generation by the firms.

Metering Expert, Sesan Okunade, told The PUNCH that power generation was not what Nigeria should be battling to solve at the moment.

“We have generated more than this before that have been sold to neighbouring countries. The reason for system collapse is the excess kilowatt not being collected by Discos due the technical and commercial loss.”

“Good connection policy and investment in transformers to replace the obsolete one will assist in what is being generated to be effectively received by Discos,” he added.

The National President, Electricity Consumers Association of Nigeria, Barr. Chijioke James said Nigerian consumers were told years ago that the generation capacity was over 6000MW.

“We are therefore surprised that in 2022 NERC is promising delivery of 5000MW by July 1st.

This does not give consumers confidence that the current situation will change for the better soonest,” he said.

Experts have called on the government to fully embrace other sources of energy including renewables.

Executive Director of a solar-based company, Gennex Technologies, Toyin Ilo, said it was high time the Federal Government gave full support to the solar industry to thrive.