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Nigerian power generation companies owed N1.75 trillion since 2013

ByOladotun Roy Fadeyiye

Aug 26, 2022

Gencos, have revealed that they are being owed the sum of N1.75 trillion for power generated since 2013.

This was disclosed by Dr Joy Ogaji, Executive Secretary, Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC) on Thursday at the Association of Energy Correspondents of Nigeria (NAEC) Strategic International Conference in Lagos.

According to NAN, Ogaji stated that the lack of access to foreign exchange by GenCos is a major challenge to their operations as GenCos are owing N1 trillion to gas suppliers.

Dr. Ogaji disclosed that GenCos are owed N1.75 trillion for power generated for the electricity market since 2013.

She added that liquidity challenges of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry have made operating in the generation value chain very difficult for the companies, as GenCos are currently owing their gas suppliers N1 trillion and also servicing loans used for the acquisition of the companies in 2013.

Ogaji also added that the lack of access to foreign exchange by GenCos has become a major challenge to their operations.

She added that GenCos are ready to generate the power needed in Nigeria, but warned that utilization has stagnated in Nigeria due to transmission and distribution constraints.

“Just to give you a context, on Nov.1, 2013, when the privatisation took place, power was 3,427MW on the day of the takeover.

“On Dec. 1, 2013, power had gone from 3,427MW to over 4,003MW and by 2020 it had gone up to nearly 8,000MW.”

“The average uptake of power from the GenCos was about 4,000MWh from 2013 till date which was not good for business.

“So, this does not encourage any investor to keep investing because clearly, it shows that your product is not needed.

“Notwithstanding how Nigerians are always saying give us power, but generation production is driven by demand.

“When demand is not moving in line with the production, the producer is not incentivised to produce and this is a major problem,” she said.

She urged the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) to intensify efforts to ensure remittances by the 11 electricity Distribution Companies for energy consumed by their customers.

The Federal Government earlier announced it has successfully completed the takeover of struggling distribution companies, including Kaduna, Kano, Ibadan and Port Harcourt DISCOs.

This was announced by the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprise, Mr Alex Okoh while briefing the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on the update of the takeover of the four electricity distribution companies (DISCOs).

The DisCos were forced under new management over poor debt management issues.

Meanwhile, Electricity distribution companies (DisCos) in Nigeria generated a sum of N761.2 billion as revenue in 2021, an increase of 44.5% compared to N526.8 billion recorded in the previous year. This is according to data recently released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Electricity bill in 2021 grew by 5.98% to 23,360.59 Gigawatts hour (Gwh), from 22,042.28Gwh recorded in 2020. Similarly, the number of metered customers rose by 36.2% from 3.51 million recorded in 2020 to 4.77 million customers in the review year.