NBET owe Gencos N42 billion —Report

The indebtedness of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) to electricity Generation Companies (Gencos), has reached N42.15 billion as at January 2018.

NBET was only able to pay the GenCos ₦6.08 billion out of the ₦48.23 billion for the January invoices, which represents 12.62 per cent of the total obligation.

NBET, which is charged with bulk electricity trading and buys power from the GenCos, made this disclosure in its payment data released on its website, stating that the average energy sent out by the GenCos during the period was 3,584.55MWh.

It noted that that out of the 3,584.55MWh generated by Gencos in January, the average energy received by Distribution Companies (DisCos) was 2,445.06MWh. It also noted that international customers and other net importers consumed 232.21MWh during the month under review.

Gencos had on several occasions complained about the delay in the payment for the electricity generated and sent out to Discos.

Expectedly, the Discos have blamed their inability to meet their financial obligations in the electricity value chain on non-reflective tariffs, vandalism, low power generation, inability to access credit and non-payment of bills by customers.

The Executive Secretary of Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC), Dr. Joy Ogaji, said such protracted debts inhibit GenCos from paying for gas supplied by gas companies for power generation and further investment in the power sector.

She said that continuous delay in payment of electricity generated would make it difficult for the Gencos to perform required and scheduled maintenance as well as pay for gas supplied.

“Without pragmatic measures in paying all their outstanding debt, development would remain slow”, she added.

The Executive Director, Association of National Electricity Distributors (ANED), blamed the Discos’ inability to pay NBET on the slow payment response from the electricity consumers.

Speaking on efforts by the Federal Government to make electricity available in the country, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, disclosed that government had secured the World Bank’s approval for $486 million Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) expansion funding

He also said progress is being made with the same bank for the Rural Electrification and Distribution Expansion Funding.

He said: “In many parts of the country connected to the grid, citizens’ feedback is positive, even though all the problems are not solved. Citizens acknowledge more power in dry weather, reduced hours of running their generators and reduction in fuel purchase to power generators.

Fashola added: “Our incremental power initiative is well underway; some results are manifesting and the promise of steady power is real.

“If we persevere, I am certain that we will witness uninterrupted power which is the final destination of our journey.”

He said that the Power Sector Recovery Programme (PSRP) which are policies, actions and programmes put in place by the Ministry and other stakeholders to solve problems in the sector, were already delivering results. “One of such result is the regulation that will democratize access to meters for power sector customers,’ he added.