Damilola Shittu – Abuja
The Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has pledged commitment to pay N701 billion Payment Assurance fund to power Generation Companies (GenCos).
Reacting to a media report, which claimed government would discontinue the payment, Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Power, Louis Edozien, discredited the publication, insisting the payment has been on track.
He disclosed that the Payment Assurance Programme of the Federal Government that authorised the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET) to guarantee payment for any power it has contracted from generation companies on the national grid had not been reversed.
“The Payment Assurance Programme of the Federal Government of Nigeria that authorised NBET to borrow N701.9 billion to guarantee payment for any power it has contracted from generation companies on the national grid and their gas and other suppliers have been in operation since January 2017. The amount NBET is authorised to borrow is not yet fully drawn. The Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the programme. FEC has not taken any decision to stop it. FEC is the appropriate authority to comment on the Programme’s tenure and borrowing ceiling,” Edozien said in a statement.
He urged generation companies to take advantage of the regulation to sell the power they can generate, of which 2,000MW is now stranded, to Eligible Customers who need it and are willing and able to pay for it.
He further stated that the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), should continue to support the regulation by making targeted investments in the national grid, as needed to service specific contracts with generation companies and Eligible Customers to transmit the power.
Edozien appealed to TCN to finance targeted investments with the expected revenue from bilateral transmission contracts.
Encouraging electricity distribution companies (DisCos) to embrace the policy, the Permanent Secretary said that if the DisCos were satisfying the power supply needs of their consumers, users would have no reason to generate the power by themselves.