April 2, 2017

Three month’s dept Nationwide blackout looms as GENCOs threaten to shut down

DISCO official disconnecting lines on electric pole

By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief

Electricity Generation Companies (GenCos) have not been paid for their services by the Nigeria Electricity Bulk Trader in the last three months.

A source in the power sector told Sunday Vanguard in Abuja, at the weekend, that the situation of unsettled invoices would spell doom for the economy as operators were already considering shutting down their plants across  Nigeria.

The source said, “GenCos have not been paid a dime since the beginning of this year.  Our invoices for power delivered in January, February and March have not been settled. The situation is very terrible and has become unbearable.


“To produce power, deliver to the grid and without payment has been our experience since the beginning of 2017 and we are grinding to a halt. We just can’t continue like this”.

He added that the attention of the Presidency had been drawn to the situation as the GenCos had to write the National Security Adviser on the implications of their shutting down and that even after meeting with the NSA, the situation largely remained unchanged.

The source revealed that his own company alone was being owed N57 billion from an accumulated arrears since 2013 and that the last time the company was paid for its services was in December 2016 when it got N1.6 out of a N5.4 billion invoice for that month.

When contacted, the spokesperson for the NEBT, Henrietta Ighomrore, said that GenCos are paid for electricity generated and put on the grid based on money collected from the Distribution Companies (DisCos), explaining that her organization does not keep such funds once paid by DisCos.

She said that DisCos paid for the electricity they received in the month of January only last week and that arrangements were on to pay the GenCos shortly.