In this article, we list all electricity distribution companies in Nigeria, a brief history of electricity distribution in the country, with special emphasis on their tariffs.
The power sector in the country has seen several changes to it over the years. Electricity generation in Nigeria actually commenced in 1898. However, the first electric utility company in Nigeria began operating in 1929, it was known as the Nigerian Electricity Supply Company.
Ever since then, Nigeria has seen a number of Electricity companies come and go, paving way for the current structure on ground.
As earlier stated, the generation of electricity in the country can be traced to the year 1898 in Lagos. Back then, the total capacity of the generators used then was 60kW. That is to say that the maximum demand in 1898 was less than 60kW.
By the year 1946, the Nigerian Government Electricity Undertaking was established under the jurisdiction of the Public Works Department (PWD) to take over the responsibility of electricity supply in Lagos.
In 1950, a central body was established by the legislative council which transferred electricity supply and development to the care of the central body known as the Electricity Corporation of Nigeria (ECN).
Another electricity body known as the Nigerian Electricity Supply Company (NESCO) also had the license to generate electricity in some parts of the country back then.
There was also another body known as the Nigeria Dams Authority (NDA), which was established by an act of parliament. This electricity body was responsible for the construction and maintenance of dams and other works on the River Niger and elsewhere.
It was also saddled with the responsibility of generating electricity by means of hydro power, improving navigation and promoting fish brines and irrigation.
The electricity produced by the NDA (Not to be confused with the Nigerian Defence Academy) was sold to ECN for distribution and sales at utility voltages.
In April 1972, the operations of the Electricity Corporation of Nigeria and the Nigeria Dams Authority were merged in a new organization known as the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA).
Since the ECN was mainly responsible for distribution and sales and the NDA created to build and run generating stations and transmission lines.
The primary reasons for merging the organizations were so that it would result in the vesting of the production and the distribution of electricity power supply throughout the country in one organization which would assume responsibility for the financial obligations.
Also, that the integration of the ECN and the NDA was to result in the more effective utilization of the human, financial and other resources available to the electricity supply industry throughout the country.
Since the inception of NEPA, the authority expanded annually in order to meet the ever-increasing demand for electric power. Unfortunately, the majority of Nigerians had no access to electricity and the supply to those provided were not regular.
It is this backdrop that led the Federal Government to embark on aggressive power sector reforms with the intention of reviving NEPA and making it more effective, efficient and responsive to the yearnings of the teeming populace.
Late into the new millennium, NEPA became a public limited Company, hence it became known as NEPA plc, not too long after that, it rebranded and changed its name to Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN.
Even after rebranding, PHCN could not arrest the electricity issues in Nigeria, this set in motion its privatization for better services and so in 2013, PHCN was privatised and it seized to exist, thereby birthing a new company in its stead known as the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC.
The Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Agency, empowered by an Act of 2005 was given the responsibility of monitoring and regulating the Nigerian electricity industry, issuing licences to market participants, ensuring compliance with market rules and operating guidelines.
The NERC, after the phasing out of PHCN in 2013 by the Federal Government, was divided into separate companies or entities called Local Electric Distribution Companies or Local Distribution Companies (LDC). Each company will be responsible for handling electricity distribution in each state or region.
As of May 2016, the structure of the companies comprises of 11 Distribution companies, 6 Generation companies and 1 transmission company.
The companies are listed below:
Distribution (11 companies):
- Abuja Electricity Distribution Company Plc
- Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc
- Eko Electricity Distribution Company Plc
- Enugu Electricity Distribution Company Plc
- Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company Plc
- Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company plc
- Jos Electricity Distribution Company Plc
- Kano Electricity Distribution Company Plc
- Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company Plc
- Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company Plc
- Yola Electricity Distribution Company Plc
Generation (6 companies):
- Afam Power Plc
- Egbin Power Plc
- Kainji Hydro-Electric Plc
- Sapele Power Plc
- Shiroro Hydro-Electric Plc
- Ughelli Power Plc
Transmission (1 company):
- Transmission Company of Nigeria
Going forward and focusing on electricity distribution in Nigeria, and with the advent of prepaid meters here and there, be informed that what you are charged, that is, your electricity tariff depends on the distribution company which covers your area.
Also, the amount of money you spend on electricity depends on your tariff class, and there are five tariff classes graded from A-E. These tariff classes are explained below.
Class A (Residential):
This class is peculiar to most customers. Quite large number of people belong to this class as it is charged for residential areas. So when next you are paying electricity bills for your house, know that it is a Class A tariff plan.
Class B (Commercial):
This tariff class covers customers who use electric power for their offices, shops and other places of work and not for residents in the area.
Class C (Industrial):
This tariff class is billed to customers who use their premises for the purposes of manufacturing products.
Class D (Special):
Billed for Schools, Churches, Mosques Hospitals, Government Institutes, Universities, etc.
This tariff class covers street lights.
In conclusion, we have been able to understand the history of electricity generation in Nigeria as well as the companies responsible for transmission and distribution.
Also how tariffs are charged and the class every customer falls under. All tariffs are determined by the distribution company that serves your area and these there are also tariff subclasses. You might want to keep that in mind.
Customers are usually graded into subclasses by the distribution companies largely due to the average consumption of electricity by each class.