Chief Executive Office, Frontline Oil Limited, Engineer Dada Thomas has said over 40 percentof electricity supplied to the electricity Distribution Companies, DisCos are lost. He revealed this during a chat with Business Times, saying the DisCos are to be held responsible for the loss.
According to him, the gas to power value chain in Nigeria is a “very sick one” traceable first to the Discos and then the masses. Engineer Dada with over 47 years experience in the oil and gas industry, 17 years of it working with Shell, said that DisCos find it almost impossible to get the masses to pay for electricity because they refused to meter customers instead, preferring estimated billing. “The problem originated from the DISCOS and from you and me because people are not paying for the electricity consumed. More than 40 percent of the electricity supplied to the discos is lost.
In collection loses because they are inefficient. DisCos refused to put meters like they ought to and they keep on doing estimated billings,” he said. He pointed out that the masses are to be blamed for by-passing meters and directly stealing electricity which makes it difficult for DisCos to make profit from their huge investments. “But the other are from when people are by-passing meters and directly stealing electricity. So when the discos cannot collect sufficient money from distributed electricity, they can’t pay transmission and generation and gas suppliers. So the power to gas value chain in Nigeria is very sick,” he said.
As a way forward to gas availability problem on the country he said, government needs toimplement the willing buyer-willing seller policy, and stay off from regulating the gas business “But we don’t want the gas to power business to die because death is not an option. If it dies, we will be in perpetual darkness. And I think the good thing is that the government is listening and is trying to address the problem. The solution is for the gas transaction to be based on a willing buyer- willing seller market-driven platform with government removed from regulating commercial transaction between profit-making entities,” he said.
As a means to boosting the gas sector in Nigeria, Dada said the Federal Government must quickly roll out pipelines as a means of distributing the products to both far and short distance buyers.
“Nigeria must rapidly roll out a pipeline distribution system. This will ensure collaboration between the private and government but, actual implementation must be done by the private sector. I am an unequivocal advocate that the government has no business of running businesses.
The job of the government is to create enabling environment for everyone to set up businesses so that we can create value. Such pipeline systems must be operated and owned by independent private sector entity with subject and open economic tariff base, so that the gas producers can tie it into the next producing pipeline that gas can be available in Nigeria. I will enable gas producers to sell directly to the consumers irrespective of locations,” he said.