Payment of previously unpaid bills by electricity users in Nigeria in the first half of 2022 has pushed revenue generated by distribution companies (DISCOs) in the country to the highest level in eight years, despite a decline in the total electricity customers and electricity supplied in the period.
The DISCOs generated N393.15 billion in revenue in the first half of 2022, up 6.15 percent from N368.97 billion reported in the first half of 2021, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) have shown.
However, on a quarterly basis (q/q), revenue generated by DISCOs declined by 7.97 percent in the second quarter (Q2) of 2022 to N188.4 billion, down from N204.7 billion in the first quarter (Q1) of 2022.
Further analysis showed that Ikeja Disco (IEDC) generated 20.25 percent of the total revenue reported in the second quarter of 2022.
Ayodele Oni, partner at Bloomfield Law Practice explained that the increase in revenue despite a decline in customer base and electricity supplied was due to DISCOs being able to recover outstanding bills from customers who decided to move to prepaid meters, and adjustments made to electricity tariffs during the period.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in May confirmed adjustments to the electricity tariff regime across ten electricity distribution companies with increases ranging from 5 to 12 percent.
NERC stated that it was to “ensure that tariffs payable by consumers are commensurate with and aligned with the quality and availability of power supply committed to customer clusters by the DISCOs.”
Despite the revenue increase, DISCOs reported a 2.27 percent and 7.2 percent decline in total customers and electricity supplied respectively in the first half of 2022.
The total electricity customers declined to 10.8 million in the first half of 2022 from 11.1 million in the first half of 2021, while electricity supplied declined to 11,182 GWh from 12,055 GWh in the first half of 2021.
Quarterly, however, the number rose by 1.67 percent to 10.8 million in the second half of 2022 from 10.63 million in the first half of 2022, primarily driven by a 3.53 percent increase in the total number of metered customers reported by the statistical agency in the second quarter of 2022.
The total number of metered customers in the second quarter of 2022 amounted to 4.96 million, up from 4.79 million customers reported in the first quarter of 2022.
In the same vein, estimated customers also grew marginally to 5.85 million in the second quarter of 2022 from 5.84 million reported in the first quarter of 2022.
Quarterly, DISCOs supplied electricity to customers totaling 5,227 GWh in the second quarter of 2022, down from 5,956 GWh in the first quarter of 2022.
Further analysis of the data shows that electricity was mostly supplied by Ikeja Discos (IEDC). Electricity supplied by Ikeja amounted to 836 GWh in the second quarter of 2022.