The Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) said it paid about N12.69 billion to electricity generating companies (GenCos) in the country out of the total invoices of ₦ 37.38 billion for energy delivered in February.
NBET, which made this known in its “Gencos payment based on Distribution Companies (Discos) receipt,” said this represent 33.29 per cent of their total invoices for the month.
Between February 2015 and December 2016, the market shortfall (amount owed by Discos to the rest of the market) was estimated at N473 billion, with tariff shortfall put at N458 billion.
These led to the slow performance of the power sector that created dissatisfaction among electricity customers who are frustrated by the poor quality of service.
For example, in February alone, Genco invoice from Kainji was N2.423 billion, but only N822.875 million was paid.
From the Jebba invoice of N2.327 billion, and N790.286 million paid; Shiroro got only N624.483 million from the N1.8 billion invoice for the same period.
Egbin N1.175 billion from N3.467 billion; Ughelli Transcorp received N1.470 billion from N4.329 billion; and Sapele N216.086 million from the N636.321 million.
The payment shortfalls leave outstanding debts of N100 billion for, Egbin Power Plc; Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) N105 billion; Ughelli Power Company N50 billion; Geregu Power Plant N80 billion, while the three hydropower stations in Niger State, namely Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro are jointly owed N30 billion.
NBET put the total energy generated by GenCos in February at 3,541 megawatt hours (MWh), while total energy delivered to the DisCos was 3,019 MWh.
Although, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) provided a N701 billion facility, to assist NBET in meeting its payment obligations from the generation invoices to ease the liquidity challenges, the Gencos are yet to get full payment of all the outstanding debts.
The President, Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC), Joy Ogaji, said the huge debt is hindering the gencos’ operations, including paying their workers, settling contractors, and purchasing gas to power the plants.
She said the generation companies can no longer pay salaries. “They can’t even pay for gas, and the gas companies are no longer selling the product to them as a result of the debts. Banks are not ready to advance credit to the gencos again.”
The Chief Executive Officer, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), Azu Obiaya, put the debts owed Discos by private consumers, businesses and government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), post-privatisation at over N568 billion, adding that the sector as a whole is still struggling with a revenue shortfall of over N809 billion.