Discos’ revenue collection rises to N36bn monthly

The revenue collected by electricity distribution companies in the country from customers rose by 23 per cent this year, the Association of Nigeria Electricity Distributors said on Tuesday.

ANED, the umbrella body of the 11 Discos carved out of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, said although the retail tariff had not been changed since February 2016, the revenue collection had been increased continuously up to an average of N36bn per month this year.

It disclosed through infographics posted to its official Twitter account on Tuesday that the energy received by the Discos, excluding Yola Disco, from October 2017 to September 2018 increased to 26,368 gigawatt hours, compared to the 24,217 GWh received from October 2016 to September 2017.

The energy billed by the Discos rose by 11 per cent to 20,600 GWh (an equivalent of N650.1bn) this year from 18,552GWh (N590bn) in 2017.

The association said the Discos collected N422.5bn in 2018, up from N344.7bn in the previous year, with the collection efficiency rising to 65 per cent from 60 per cent while the Aggregate Technical, Commercial and Collection losses dropped to 49 per cent from 54 per cent.

According to it, Disco operators only collect 24 per cent of the tariff revenues, while the balance goes upstream to transmission, generation and other industry stakeholders.

“The Discos in general have capitalised the additional energy received from the Transmission Company of Nigeria, improving their performance,” ANED said in his presentation, titled ‘Disco Performance Report for 2018.’

It said the improved performance continued in the third quarter of this year, although the energy received had not increased as much as projected.

The energy received in the third quarter this year increased to 6,283GWh from 5,988 GWh in the same period in 2017.

The energy billed also rose to 5,015GWh (an equivalent of N158.2bn) from 4,620GWh (N147bn), while the collection increased to N105.1bn from N88.4bn.

“Since July 2016, there has been a gradual rise in energy received by Discos and consequently on the energy billed,” ANED added.

The nation’s power sector was privatised in 2013, with the Discos and six generation companies handed over to core investors on November 1 that year. On July 2015, the Federal Government took over Yola Electricity Distribution Company following the exit of the core investor.

Last week, the National Union of Electricity Employees faulted the Bureau of Public Enterprises over the date for the final performance review of the Discos.

The Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Mr Alex Okoh, said last month that the review of the performance of the Discos would take place before December 2019.

He said the five-year performance agreement for all the Discos, with the exception of Kaduna Disco, became effective on January 1, 2015 and the fifth year anniversary for final performance review would therefore be December 31, 2019.

But the General Secretary, NUEE, Mr Joe Ajaero, described the declaration of December 31, 2019 as the final performance review date as “a negation of the performance agreements, which provides for a five-year tenure stipulated in the Memorandum of Understanding and Power Privatisation Act during which the core investors in the Discos are required to fully achieve far-reaching efficiency improvement target.”

“We are worried that since the core investors took over the privatised electricity assets on November 1, 2013, their performances have been abysmal, with Nigerians bearing the burden of paying outrageous/estimated bills since they have refused to provide their customers with prepaid meters,” he added.

Source: The Punch

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