DisCos caught using uncertified electrical supplies and machinery have been marked for disconnection, according to the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA).
The warning was given at separate meetings with the Eko and Ikeja DisCos on the National Monitoring and Technical Evaluation of Primary Feeders and Associated Injection Substations held in Lagos on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. The meetings were hosted by the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer and Chief Electrical Inspector of the Federation (CEIF), Mr. Aliyu Tahir.
Tahir stated that according to the law, NEMSA must first certify the materials and equipment before approving their deployment for use by DisCos. He declared that it was no longer acceptable for DisCos to blatantly boycott regulatory procedures, thereby breaking established regulations.
“In the future, any DisCo that deploys electrical material without NEMSA certification will be disconnected and will be subject to the full force of the law,” the speaker warned. He clarified that the goal of the discussions with the NEMSA Taskforce Team was to identify the difficulties at the locations where the transmission and distribution networks connect, which are impeding the efficient delivery of power across the nation.
He added that other terms of reference for the Taskforce included; to check the 33Kv feeder by feeder capacity to determine their adequacy to support the downstream loads of the various distribution networks, to check the 33/11kV injection substation status in terms of safety of operation, delivery of safe and reliable power to the 11Kv feeders and technical manpower adequacy/capability, to check vegetation and structures encroachment to Right of Way (RoW) of primary distribution feeder lines in Discos franchise areas.
Others include determining whether the 33Kv feeder lines effectively deliver safe, dependable, and stable power to the injection substations, identifying substandard electrical materials/equipment in the network, making recommendations for the removal and following up accordingly, and determining whether there are any other encumbrances that are obstructing the efficient flow of power from transmission substations to distribution networks.
“Permit me to state clearly that we are not here to find fault but to help by working together to solve the problems of the power sector. For now, when the Task Force begins their technical inspection/assessment, the Disco is presented with findings and asked to rectify the identified defects/challenges. When this is done, the Disco is the first to benefit and then the country at large,” he said.
He insisted that this was not the first instance of such action, noting that in the past, NEMSA had compiled conclusions and forwarded them to the Disco, but there was little or no adherence to them. Tahir said NEMSA recently observed that lightening arrestors at the distribution sub-stations are disconnected indiscriminately from the circuit, this, he said, should not be allowed to continue as it puts the sub-station at risk of voltage surges due to lightening strikes or switching spikes
Tahir urged Eko and Ikeja Discos to work with NEMSA to prevent the importation of poor quality or subpar electrical materials and equipment, to have well-planned, designed, and executed electrical installation works that would last a lifetime, and to lower the number of electrical accidents, electrocutions, and electrical fires in the Eko Disco franchise area.