Nigeria: CBN Tightens Monitoring of Discos’ Utilisation of Intervention Funds

Peter Uzoho

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has embarked on a tour of the power Distribution Companies (Discos) to monitor and evaluate how the Discos utilised the capital expenditure (Capex) intervention funds provided by the apex bank to enable the Discos upgrade their networks for improved supply to customers.

Already, the CBN’s monitoring team led by the Director of Finance, Mr Yusuf Yila has visited the two Discos serving Lagos State and adjoining locations -Eko Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) and Ikeja Electric (IE).

The apex bank had embarked on several performance improvement projects to reduce the various challenges plaguing the electricity industry in Nigeria.

The CBN intervened by funding the procurement, installation, rehabilitation, and replacement of some electricity distribution infrastructure such as 11kv and 33kv feeders, switchgear, and many more to assist the Discos’ capacity in the delivery of adequate and reliable power supply to Nigerians.

In addition, the CBN commenced phase zero of the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) in 2020 to address the problem of metering and help solve the high Aggregate Technical, Commercial and Collection (ATC&C) losses in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).

Speaking during the visit to EKEDC headquarters in Lagos, after getting briefings from the Disco’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Tinuade Sanda, the leader of the CBN team, Yila, commended the Disco for its sheer effort towards the achievement of the Federal Government/CBN intervention schemes.

According to him, the team came to the Disco to “ensure that the funds disbursed are adequately utilised, and to listen to the challenges that have emanated in the course of implementing these projects.”

Yila also emphasised that the NMMP was very important to the CBN as the tour was also meant to carry out due diligence on the execution of phase zero of the scheme and how the apex bank and the Disco can collaborate better in proceeding to the next phase.

Earlier, the EKEDC CEO had expressed her appreciation to the bank for its effort in improving the power sector, pointing out that the bank’s funded Capex projects had aided the Disco in improving its supply to meet the high demand for electricity in its network.

Sanda said the projects had brought about the rehabilitation and replacement of obsolete equipment, adding that “the NMMP came at the appropriate time to reduce our losses and cushion the effect of the Service Reflective Tariff.”

Sanda assured CBN that EKEDC was fully committed to the achievement of the projects, which some of them were still ongoing, stating that the rationales for the projects aligned with the Disco’s corporate goals and objectives.

She admitted that the apex bank was diligently working to ensure that the projects were contributing to the company’s growth via the establishment of a market review committee.

This it said would evaluate the performance of the company monthly as well as a prepaid meter monitoring team that ensures meters installed are not bypassed.

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