•GENCOs paid N38bn last month, NBET

•Grid power stranded at 2,535MW

By Obas Esiedesa & Ediri Ejoh

As nationwide blackout occasioned by low grid power generation continued Wednesday as power generation companies (GENCOs) accused the government of not meeting up with its financial obligations to them.

The GENCOs said they are unable to maintain their machines and pay gas suppliers which have resulted in low power generation for the grid.

Checks by Vanguard on grid performance showed that as at 6pm on Wednesday 16 power plants were generating just 2,535 Megawatts with most generating below capacity.

Speaking to the Federal Government owned television station, NTA, the Executive Secretary of Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC), Dr. Joy Ogaji said lack of payment was hindering the operations of the GENCOs.

According to her, “The hope we can give to Nigerians is that let the government pay our outstanding. The moment they pay, we will pay our gas suppliers, we will be able to quickly do the maintenance and we will produce again. We are in the business of production. That is something we know how to do.

“It is ‘money for hand, power for grid. Why is it that hydro’s (plants) are in maintenance, thermals are also in maintenance? The machines are down; units have been damaged by surges. A lot of destructions on our machines and we are not compensated for that destruction even the power you have taken, you are not paying for it”, she added. But the government has rejected the claims by the GENCOs saying they have been paid as at when due.

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Speaking to Vanguard on the GENCOs’ claim, the Head Corporate Communication, Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company Plc, Henrietta Ighomrore said the GENCOs have always being paid as at when due.

Ighomrore explained that in the last payment cycle, the GENCOs were paid N38 billion are due for second tranche soon.

She said: “What the GENCOs are saying is not an accurate picture in the market. Last month when we treated the December 2021 payment cycle, based on the market receipt from the DISCOs by NBET, we made about N38 billion payments to the GENCOs for electricity distributed on the grid and that is the first tranche of payments.

“We normally make about three tranches of payments, one is the market receipt and then there is the supplementary and then there is the part payment which takes care of tariff shortfall”.

She explained that NBET has paid the GENCOs about 90 percent of their invoices, noting that the company pays the GENCOs almost immediately remittances from the DISCOs were received.

Reacting to the worsening power situation, a source who chose to be anonymous said: “The government is totally at sea about how to get the generation companies to the point of trading 8GW daily, speak less of 40GW. The grid-connected market has stagnated and we need to come together to ask why and seek honest solutions and minimize the PR spin being put on numbers. “Egbin’s generation capacity has not dropped as widely speculated but there is need to revisit the basis of this crisis and nip it in the bond.” As at today (yesterday), it generating 711MW. “

In his own reaction, the Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), Sunday Oduntan, Discos said, “We believe that there would be remedy, as apparently we are given little to distribute. For us to have a more efficient power to supply, we need to have a better generation to satisfy the country. “We cannot do more that what is given us. Currently the TCN brought the crisis to the fore and in the power value chain we just collect and give out what is collected.”

Vanguard News Nigeria

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