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Nigeria to limit electricity sales to Niger, Togo and others for six months

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In a bid to increase its domestic power supply, the Nigerian government has enacted measures aimed at curbing cross-border electricity sales to neighboring nations, particularly the Niger Republic and Togo.
An Electricity Grid

In a bid to increase its domestic power supply, the Nigerian government has enacted measures aimed at reducing cross-border electricity sales to neighbouring nations, particularly the Niger Republic and Togo.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) issued a directive, effective May 1, 2024, limiting neighbouring countries’ power supply to a maximum of six per cent of the total grid electricity.

This directive, outlined in a document titled ‘Interim Order on Transmission System Dispatch Operations, Cross-border Supply, and Related Matters,’ will remain in effect for six months, pending potential revisions.

The move, jointly signed by NERC’s Chairman, Sanusi Garba, and Vice Chairman, Musiliu Oseni, comes amidst concerns over sub-optimal grid dispatch practices impacting the ability of Distribution Companies (DisCos) to fulfil their service tariff commitments to domestic end-users.

NERC emphasised the need to address inefficiencies in the current system, stating, “The reliance on limiting Discos’ load off-take while prioritising international off-takers and eligible customers has proven neither efficient nor equitable.”

Furthermore, the regulatory body highlighted shortcomings in international and bilateral contracts with Generation Companies (GenCos), citing instances where off-takers exceed their contracted levels during peak operations without penalties.

As an interim measure, NERC’s directive aims to guide the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the System Operator (SO) in implementing standard operating procedures to enhance transparency and fairness in grid operations.

The order mandated that the system operator supply international customers with cap capacities for six months, with a maximum load allocation of six per cent of the total available grid generation in each trading hour.

Additionally, the system operator is tasked with developing a pro-rata load-shedding scheme to ensure equitable adjustment to load allocation among all off-takers.

Furthermore, NERC has called for the installation of integrated Internet of Things (IoT) meters at all off-take and delivery points to provide real-time visibility of aggregate off-take by grid customers. This initiative is expected to be completed within three months of the order’s issuance.

In a bid to maintain regulatory oversight, the commission has ceased to recognise any capacity addition in bilateral transactions between generators and off-takers without its express approval.

“The system operator shall henceforth cease to recognise any capacity addition in bilateral transactions between a generator and an off-taker without the express approval of the commission,” it added.

“The system operator and TCN to immediately initiate and install integrated IoT metres at all off-take and delivery points of eligible customers, bilateral supplies, cross-border trades, and outgoing 33kV feeders of the Discos to provide real-time visibility of aggregate off-take by grid customers. “The installation of and streaming of data from the IOT metres should be completed within three months from the date of this order,” the statement reads in part.

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