The IEEE Power and Energy Society had her second in the series of workshops on the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) on the 22nd of December, 2016 in the Performing and Film Art Theatre of the Elizade University, Ilara Mokin, Ondo State, Nigeria.
The Vice Chancellor of the University welcome participants to the programme with a warm speech in which he called for a frequent review of Engineering curricula, a better approach to teaching and research, and better exposure of students to engineering practice. He challenged Nigerian scientists and engineers to develop a more practical and realistic approach to training of younger generations, and to tailor their research and innovations toward solving the problems faced in Agriculture and Industry. He challenged the IEEE in Nigeria to develop a robot capable of making soil hips for Nigerian farmers. He pledged the cooperation of the University with the IEEE Nigeria Section.
IEEE Student Branch
The Membership Director IEEE Nigeria Section, Engr Tunde Salihu discussed the requirements for approving a Student Branch for Elizade University and explained membership benefit, urging participants to join IEEE and relevant societies within the IEEE. Dr. Mrs Longe advised participants especially those doing research to take advantage of the networking afforded by membership of IEEE and its societies. She also stressed the fact that IEEE publishes the most advanced and up to date technical materials that researchers and practising engineers can use for career advancement.
Paper I: Sales of our Power Asset: A synopsis
This paper delivered by Engr T. Y. Salihu discussed the sale of Nigeria’s power supply asset by the Bureau of Private Enterprises (BPE) to private companies at unbelievably low prices. The identities of the buyers were unveiled. In the particular case of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, the entire power assets in four states namely Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, and Rivers States were sold for twenty two billion Naira (N22 Billion) instead of a conservative price of one hundred and thirty one billion, five hundred million Naira (N135.5 Billion) after accounting for depreciation. The paper also showed that the performance of the power delivery system has become worse rather than improve under private sector control.
The presenter proffered the following solutions;
- Break the distribution companies (DISCOs) into smaller units;
- Remove tariff collection from the DISCOs and give the function to financial experts; since the DISCOs are ineffective and their operations are rife with corrupt practices;
- Government should disengage Manitoba from handling the transmission system because the cost of managing the TCN is rather exorbitant. Nigerian professionals can manage the TCN efficiently with less cost to the Federal Government;
- Government should assist the companies acquire loans on favourable terms; and
- Government should activate part of the conditions of sale of power assets, whence guarantees were obtained for certain levels of investment after acquisition and apply sanctions for breaches of the conditions of sale.
- Alternate energy and off-grid solutions should be pursued vigorously and be backed by legislation.
Paper 2: The Problems of Electricity Distribution in Nigeria and the Solution
The paper, presented by Engr. Oluwadare Adeloye, General Manager of Ondo State Electricity Board, identified the numerous problems of power distribution in Nigeria to include weak and aging infrastructure, poor maintenance culture, poor funding, and corruption, use of fake and substandard materials, application of archaic technology in the operation and control of power distribution system as well as low aggregate collection rate arising from technical and non-technical losses, poor tariff structure, and stealing by marketers. The presenter used forty images to support his claims about the pitiable condition of power distribution infrastructure across the country.
The solutions prescribed for the problems are;
- Stiff penalty for corrupt practices and acts of vandalism involving power delivery equipment;
- Enforcement of regulatory provisions with respect to procurement of electrical materials, construction, operation and maintenance, reliability indices etc;
- Training and retraining of power related professionals and operatives
- Public education about the usage of energy efficient devices, energy conservation, and protection of public facilities;
- Investment in strengthening of distribution system including the provision of relief substations, reconductoring, installation of primary and secondary protection, and metering;
- Adoption of renewable energy options; and
- Utilization of smart grid technologies.
Thirty seven individuals from the industry, three higher institutions, the State’s Ministry of Works, and Ondo State Electricity Board attended the workshop.
The participants agreed that the findings from the two lectures and the ensuing discussion be made public in the form of a communique. It was also agreed that more stakeholders from the academia, industry, government, electrical utilities and general public be invited to participate in future IEEE PES workshops on NESI
Engr. Kehinde Temikotan FNSE, MIEEE
Chair PES Nigeria Chapter
28th December, 2016