The Nigerian journey to a competitive and efficient private sector-led electricity market is full of challenges from gas constraints, inadequate generation, and transmission of power to inefficient distribution of electricity to End-Users. Unfortunately, the sector now faces the negative impacts of the prevalence of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The myriads of issues plaguing the Nigerian power sector seems to be in constant reiteration.
This study aimed at evaluating the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), from generation to distribution, and providing an outlook for the NESI going forward. Industry documents and interviews with NESI Stakeholders were consulted to elicit information on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the NESI. In the NESI value chain, the Distribution Companies are most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These impacts are: a Shift in Electricity Demand, Customer Apathy and Low Payment Response, Changes in Energy Load Allocation, Business Continuity Risks, Inability to Import and Install Meters, Foreign Exchange Adjustment, Unplanned Operational Expenditure, Increase in Customer Complaints and Difficulty to meet Market Obligations. There was no impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on generation as a shortage in gas supply and water management affected electricity generation. Bulk electricity allocation by the Transmission Company of Nigeria has not changed significantly. However, the Transmission Service Provider arm of the TCN continue to spend more hours on Fault Clearance.
Going forward, the Distribution Companies will massively rollout Prepaid Meter rollouts to Customers, adopt Franchising Models, and aggressively embrace Technology (Telemarketing, Online Payment Channels, Paperless Billing Methodologies, Android and IOS Customer-Focused Applications, WhatsApp Business Bots, Open Efficient, and Effective Customer Care Operations).