The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) issued power generation licences to 21 investors in 2022, data obtained on Friday from the Federal Government agency has shown.
Findings showed the commission issued 114 registration/permits for the development of mini-grids to boost power supply across the country during the period.
The Federal Government and stakeholders in the power sector have been making efforts to increase the country’s power generation and supplies after the successor electricity generation and distribution arms of the sector were unbundled and privatised in November 2013.
Since then, Nigeria’s power generation has been hovering between 3,500 megawatts and 5,000MW, a figure which operators and experts described as too low for a population of over 200 million people.
Data sourced from the Federal Ministry of Power on Friday showed that power generation on the national grid as of 6am that day was 4,472MW, up from an off-peak of 3,989.5MW recorded on Thursday.
In its bid to boost the power supply in Nigeria, the NERC has been issuing licences to investors to generate electricity.
In its latest report on licensing and permits in the power sector, the commission stated that in the fourth quarter of 2022, it approved two power generation licences, with a combined capacity of 56.5MW, adding that 27 mini-grid registration/permits were issued in the same quarter.
“In 2022/Q4, the commission approved the issuance of two new generation licenses with a combined capacity of 56.50MW and authorised the amendment of two on-grid embedded generation licences.
“The commission also approved 13 mini-grid permits and 14 registration certificates for mini-grids with individual capacities below 1MW.
“It also granted approval for the amendment/renewal of seven captive power generation permits with an aggregate capacity of 65.36MW,” NERC further stated.
It added that applications from seven meter installers, three meter manufacturers and two meter importers were also approved by the commission in the last quarter of 2022.
In the third quarter, six power generation licences and 23 mini-grid registration/permits were issued.
The power sector regulator said, “In 2022/Q3, the commission approved the issuance of six new generation licences and one trading licence. The commission also approved 23 mini-grid registration/permits and granted captive power generation permits to two new companies with an aggregate capacity of 14.6MW.”
It noted that four Meter Asset Provider permits, and seven Meter Service Providers were also approved by the commission in 2022/Q3.
According to NERC, two power generation licences and 23 mini-grid permits/registration were issued in the second quarter of last year to investors.
It said, “In 2022/Q2, the commission approved the issuance of two new generation licences, one trading licence, renewal of one existing licence and amendment of one on-grid generation licence.
“The commission also approved 23 mini-grid registration/permits and granted captive power generation permits to eight new companies with an aggregate capacity of 174.08MW.”
The industry regulator said 14 Meter Service Providers consisting of nine meter installers, three meter manufacturers, one meter importer and one meter vendor, were also approved by the commission in 2022/Q2.
The highest number of power generation licences and mini-grid registration/permits were issued in the first quarter of 2022. The NERC issued 11 electricity generation licences and 41 mini-grid registration/permits in Q1 2022.
“In 2022/Q1, the commission approved the issuance of 11 new generation licences, renewal of two existing licences and transfer of one on-grid generation licence.
“The commission also approved 41 mini-grid registration/permits and granted an aggregate capacity of 186.06MW captive power generation permits to seven new companies,” the regulator averred.
It mentioned that 12 Metering Service Providers, consisting of eight meter installers, three meter manufacturers and one meter importer, were also approved by the commission in 2022/Q1.
Commenting on this, the National Secretary of Nigeria Electricity Consumer Advocacy Network, Uket Obonga, told our correspondent that the challenges in the power sector were enormous, stressing that the new administration must work hard to address them.
“I held a town hall meeting in Akure about three weeks ago, and after my lecture, I found out many things. One of them is that many people have paid for meters and still don’t have them. I am aware of the problem of power generation, but there are many others.
“These people in Akure are electricity consumers who have been disconnected for some years. They bought their transformer and have spent about N14m to put up that transformer and yet they have not been connected to electricity.
“Some of them have money to pay for meters but nobody is answering them. So, the challenge in the sector is myriad, from lack of meters to distribution issues and generation problems. The new government has a lot to handle in this sector and must work hard to deliver,” Obonga stated.