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Gencos record N42.13bn revenue shortfall in one month

Gencos record N42.13bn revenue shortfall in one month

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Okechukwu Nnodim

A total of 23 power generation companies produced and supplied 2,666,906.88 megawatts of electricity worth N48.23bn in January 2018 but received only N6.1bn as payment, according to the latest report of Gencos performance.

In the document, which was obtained from the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing in Abuja on Friday, the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading company stated that each of the power producers received only 12.62 per cent in the January 2018 payment cycle.

NBET is the power trading arm of the sector, collecting funds from electricity distributors to pay power generation companies.

An analysis of the payment document showed that the percentage of electricity supplied by each of the Gencos to the sector differed, but all the power producers got a flat rate in terms of percentage payment from NBET.

Ughelli Transcorp in Delta had the highest invoice of N7.23bn after contributing 14.99 per cent of electricity to the grid during the period, but it received N912.5m as payment.

Agip in Okpai had the second highest invoice, contributing 8.62 per cent of electricity to the grid but received N524.91m as payment.

Egbin contributed 11.59 per cent of electricity to the sector in January 2018 and its invoice was N5.59bn. It got N705.89m as payment.

Nigeria’s power sector has been facing stiff liquidity challenges since it was privatised more than four years ago.

Power generation companies recently dragged the government before the Federal High Court in Abuja over what they termed discriminatory practices against their interests and gas suppliers.

The firms also accused the Federal Government of conferring preferential treatment on Azura Power West Africa Limited and Accugas Limited at their own expense, as they complained that Gencos were facing serious financial constraint.

But the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, recently announced that the power producers were planning to disrupt the supply of electricity across the country, an intention suggesting blackmail against the Federal Government.

Reacting to reports that some Gencos had gone to court to file claims against the government, Fashola stated that the move was consistent with the rule of law but stressed that the power firms “must be ready to face scrutiny in the court of public opinion.”

The minister had said, “Let me say very clearly to all operators that I get reports of many of the clandestine meetings that some of them (Gencos) are holding with a view to disrupting supply for political capital. I will implore those that are truly ready to run the business they have acquired voluntarily to continue to do so with the assurance of government support and partnership.

“As for those who entered the business without understanding it, please brace up for hard work and help us rebuild this country. Those who choose to hide temporarily in the court of law can do so, but the court of public opinion will scrutinise you and its verdict may be very scathing, unkind, and enduring.”

Operators in the sector stated that the indebtedness to Gencos was due to the failure of power distribution companies in making adequate financial remittances.

An exclusive report in Sunday PUNCH last week revealed that power distribution companies received a total of N44.85bn as invoice for the quantum of electricity supplied to them in January this year but the firms remitted only N2.7bn.

Documents obtained from NBET on the remittances by the Discos for power they received in January 2018 showed that the firms had a combined remittance of 6.04 per cent in the month under review.

Nigeria has 11 power distribution companies and they get the electricity that they distribute from power generation companies.

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