Electricity Supply Services In Nigeria Commerce Essay

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Electricity supply services in Nigeria date back to 1866 when two small generating sets were installed to serve the Colony of Lagos. Almost a century later precisely in 1951, the Electricity Corporation of Nigeria (ECN) was established through an Act of Parliament to cater for all the power supply systems in the country. About a decade later, in 1962, the Niger Dam Authority (NDA) was established for the development of hydroelectric power project at Kainji on the River Niger. The two establishments NDA and ECN existed as separate entities until 1972 when they were merged to form the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA). The new authority was given the monopoly to generate, transmit and distribute electricity throughout Nigeria. (????)

In 2005, the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) was established as a holding company regarding assets, liabilities and staff of NEPA pending the privatization of successor companies by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE). The Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) was also established in 2005 to regulate the activities of the sector.

Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) is the public utility company saddled with the task of managing the power sector with a mandate to maintain an efficient, coordinated and economic system of electric supply to all parts of the federation called Nigeria.

The industry structure of the Nigerian Electric Utility Power Sector comprises of the followings:

6 Generation Companies (Gencos)

11 Distribution Companies (Discos); and

1 Transmission Company (TCN/Transyco

Literature Review/Searches

Indiscriminate digging of roads and sidewalks in major Nigerian cities by power, telecom, water etc who dig up the roads each time they install or repair a network without recourse to what is underneath due to lack of up to date utility maps has shown the importance of utility mapping. Urban planners are of the belief that utility mapping is a crucial aspect of comprehensive urban planning, and a must on the agenda of any local authority.

Today, Nigeria has the biggest gap in the world between electricity demand and supply providing its population of 150 million with roughly 3,800 megawatss of electricity. The biggest challenges the Nigeria faces are high aggregate and technical commercial losses, non-recovery of revenue and poor generation. The current Aggregate Technical, Commercial and Collection (ATC&C) losses sustained by the various distribution companies are estimated at between 40 and 50 percent of the power wheeled to them (Onagoruwa, 2011)

The Federal Government of Nigeria as a result of the problems identified above has entered into an agreement with the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), an arm of United States Government, to carry out a study on how to tackle technical and commercial losses in the power sector. Technical and commercial losses account for about 30 per cent losses in generated power and about 50 per cent losses in revenue collection from power supply.

The agreement was sealed in Washington DC between the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) on behalf of the government and USTDA. According to the agreement, the USTDA will finance the project, which will cost about $666,000.

The terms of agreement stipulate that a United States company will assemble experts in the power sector, who will come to Nigeria with world class information technology equipment to understudy the operations of select electricity distribution companies in the country including Ikeja, Eko and Abuja, as the pilot scheme, and find the causes of the intractable technical and commercial losses that have existed in the system over the years.

The Grid is the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. Sub-Transmission and Distribution systems of utilities worldwide constitute the link between electricity utilities and consumers, their revenue realization segment. For consumers, it represents the face of the utility. Efficient functioning of this segment of the utility is essential to sustain the growth of power sector and the economy (Kumar et al 2008 and Yadiki 2011).

However, the present situation is characterized by unacceptably high losses (both technical and commercial), the biggest challenge of the power sector, poor quality and reliability of supply, billing and revenue collection, frequent interruptions in supply and resultant consumer dis-satisfaction, etc (Kumar et al 2008).

In this context, ST&D segment of power sector needs immediate attention and action to achieve a turn around and self-sustenance of power sector whatever be its ultimate structure.

The main issue in ST&D systems or rather more appropriately the issue confronting the power sector as a whole, is the reduction of Transmission & Distribution (T&D) losses to acceptable minimum levels.

Most utilities' networks aren't exactly robust the fact that information technology hasn't traditionally been their strong point (Fehrenbacher, K 2009). CAD maps are computer generated images with no implicit intelligence about connectivity and very limited descriptive and limited data about the items represented on the map.

Spatial data is a fundamental element of existing operations of utility organisations. Without the knowledge of where assets are spatially located, utility is limited in operational activities such as maintenance and emergency resilience work. (McMenamin, S??????/). Without location, data are termed to be non-spatial and would have little value within a GIS. Location is, thus, the basis for many benefits of GIS: the ability to map, the ability to measure distances and the ability to tie different kinds of information together because they refer to the same place (Longley et al., 2001). Reliable and sufficiently detailed data is required to facilitate decision making in all activities of the distribution system management (Kumar et al 2008).

The efficient management of most aspects of any utility is highly dependent on the availability of reliable spatial information (i.e. information on where features are and what they are related to), as over 80% of utility operations are spatial in nature (Antenucci et al, 1991)

Today's electric utilities are realising the benefits of GIS technology in the area of automated mapping (AM) and facilities management (FM), AM/FM/GIS applications (Chen et al 1998).

In her review of utility applications of GIS technology, Rector (1993) notes that GIS fulfills "an ever-increasing demand for information pertaining to the location, condition, and performance of the utilities' infrastructure". Geospatial technologies support all critical utility business applications by using a single integrated environment to manage and map multiple assets, thereby enabling effective functioning of networks (Yadiki, S.R 2011).

Power sector in most of the developing countries of the world is undergoing a lot of reforms and restructuring; Nigeria is no exception to this. The restructuring is not just about deregulation and competition. It is about the creation of a new vision, new opportunities and new ways to think about a business that is over a century old. (Stojkovska, 2003). Utilities can use GIS to fully leverage information about who their customers are, where they live, their usage patterns, the type of services they prefer, the facilities that serve them and the competition to which they could be lost. (Mulaku, 2004)

Many counties, towns and utilities in the USA which rushed in the 1980s to embrace GIS technology without first evaluating and fixing up their mapping status realized that they were only making expensive mistakes, and that appropriate, integrated mapping simply had to come before successful GIS ventures (Dueker et al., 1986). Utilities in India too are using technologies like GIS for mapping and other purposes. One body that is relying heavily on such technologies is the Re-structured Accelerated Power Development and Reform Programme (R-A-PDRP) of the Government of India. The programme aims to facilitate the implementation of power reforms, and involves, among other things, projects for the establishment of baseline data and IT applications for energy accounting/auditing, loss reduction and IT-based consumer service centres.

The provision of adequate, affordable, accessible and sustainable electricity supply is critical to the attainment of the broad goals of high and sustainable human development. Electricity interacts with human development at different levels. It helps to facilitate economic development and poverty reduction by underpinning industrial growth and enhancing productivity, (UNDP, 2005).

GIS technology has been applied to automate distribution system planning, where it has been utilised as part of an integrated tool to forecast and optimally allocate loads within a distribution network, assisting the utility to plan where and when the demand will grow (Yeh et al, 1997)

Geospatial infrastructure solutions provide utility and communications companies with many benefits, such as improving service reliability, reducing costs, and managing infrastructure. Geospatial infrastructure solutions are not just for distribution and operation maps, but they can also maintain and manage the facility network model. However, according to IDC and Daratech, only one to two percent of the $1.16 trillion spent globally on IT projects is spent on geospatial technology, (A White paper-The value of a Utility GIS).

GIS is widely recognized for its strong role in managing traditional electric transmission and distribution networks. Network analysis usually requires high quality connectivity data and without the help of a GIS application, the setup and validation of these kinds of data can be a big challenge to the utilities. (Meehan, B 2009)

GIS has been used recently to tackle more complex planning issues such as optimal distribution feeder routing (Boulaxis et al 2002) and to optimise effective load management (Chao et al 2003).

The various computerized techniques available for distribution planning differ in approach, algorithm, data needs, and quality of results. However, all require base information upon which to perform the analysis.

The need to develop common definitions of power system entities and relationships, led the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to develop a power system Common Information Model (CIM) in the mid 1990s.

Subsequently, most in the GIS industry came to appreciate the contribution of mapping and associated professionals to their success (Dangermond, 2000).

Dangermond, J. (2000). I want GIS to include Surveyors, GIM International, vol. 14, September 2000, pp. 6 - 9.

The Habitat Agenda, promulgated at the second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements, which took place in Istanbul, Turkey, in June 1996, specifically advocated for the expansion of large scale mapping and land information systems as prerequisites for proper urban land management.

Mapping from high resolution satellite imagery such as IKONOS (1m), QUICKBIRD (0.61 m) and the use of orthophotos (Kiema, 2001; Hughes, 2001) are some of the approaches worth considering.