By Chris Ochayi
THE management of the Afam Power PLC has appealed to Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading, NBET PLC to pay up over N1 billion debt owed it for power generation, lamenting that the company is currently facing huge liquidity challenge.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Afam Power PLC, Engr. Olumide Obademi, who made the plea while receiving the ministerial media team led by senior officials of the Ministry of Works, Power and Housing (Power Section) on a visit to the plant in Oyigbo, Rivers State, said the company was currently experiencing zero funding of critical projects.
He said: “NBET should endeavour to pay all the outstanding bills owed to Afam Power PLC in order for the company to sustain the running of the units GTs 17 & 18.”
Mr. Obademi regretted that non-inclusion of the Afam Power PLC in the capital budget of the Federal Government and unstable gas supply remained the major challenges affecting the plant’s performance.
He said: “Liquidity problem also is a big challenge to the company as the little amount earned from energy generated is not fully paid by NBET.
“I want to reiterate here that the fund challenge faced by the company is so enormous as a result pf the delay in concluding privatisation exercises and emerging market rules.
“Because of privatisation exercises, there was no budgetary allocation to the company since 2012. The company was surviving through Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, from energy generated until January 2015, when the evacuation transformer that serves GTs 17 &18 that evacuates power from the two available units got burnt.
“This left the company with no source no income. Similarly, since the preferred bidder was unable to complete the payment in order to inject fund into the company, the management of Afam Power Plc could not get fund from the capital market or banks because of ownership issues.”
Engr. Olumide insisted that the company should be funded by the Federal Government since the company has not been fully privatised by included in the Ministry of power budget.
He said: “Ministry of Power in collaboration with other stakeholders to source funding of the Capital Expenditure, CAPEX, required to sustain GT 17 & 18 as well as the payment of outstanding bills to our creditor.”
Olumide called for, “Urgent intervention by the relevant authorities to salvage Afam Power PLC will be greatly appreciated.
“Not minding the privatisation process, the Federal Government should fund Afam Power PLC for capital projects to overhaul GTs 19 & 20 that are relatively new with a total capacity of 276MW.”
“It is worthy to mention here that the progress made so far is due to full commitment, dedication and survival instinct of the management and staff of Afam Power PLC.”