The Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) has banned the direct connection of electricity consumers to 33 kilovolts (kV) in the distribution networks stating dangers of electrical accidents and electrocution.
At a briefing in Abuja on Thursday, the Managing Director/CEO of NEMSA and Chief Electrical Inspector of the Federation, Engr. Peter Ewesor also warned electricity users of untested meters which he said do not carry NEMSA seal on them.
The agency enforces technical regulations, inspection, testing and certification of all electrical installations and meters.
On banning the 33kV connections, NEMSA said the 33kV points load locations are potential fault points that could cause tripping of power lines and equipment which lead to frequent disruption of smooth power flow to consumers.
“Most often, it also results in dangerous combination of low tension lines from the 33kV point load transformers and those of the 11/0.415kV transformers which constitute serious risk to lives and properties,” Ewesor noted. He said with the regime of Meter Assets Providers (MAP), more meters will be installed for electricity consumers but that uncertified meters may not be completely functional and must be avoided.
Ewesor said, “The general public is therefore called upon to note that any electricity/energy meter that does not carry the above described features (NEMSA Plastic Seal and NEMSA Test Label) shows that the meter has not been tested and certified for use in Nigeria according to the Nigerian Metering Code Version 02.”
The agency further rejected the installation and use of four types (vector groups) of distribution transformers in Nigeria. He said the Dyn5, Zig-Zag, Yyn0, and Ydn11 could cause over-heating, create high energy wastage, and distort electricity flow. “The transformer could explode and cause havoc due to excessive overheating,” Ewesor added.
He noted that some contractors are getting derogation from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to allow some non-compliant transformer operate until they are corrected. Ewesor how clarified that, ‘Derogation’ with respect to inappropriate transformer vector group is not an excuse not to comply with specifications as per extant regulations.”
It also warned on the prevalence of fake and substandard electrical materials and equipment in Nigeria saying, installing such meters or equipment in industries and homes could cause electrical accidents and possibility of electrocution.
Other looming dangers include likely fire outbreak, inaccurate reading of energy, improper or crazy billing, constant disputes between consumers and electricity suppliers and short lifespan of meters resulting in wasting scarce resources.