March 28, 2022

Nigeria remains in darkness despite N77bn paid GENCOs by NBET

By Obas Esiedesa

Despite the N38 billion paid power generating companies, GENCOs, by the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc, NBET, for December cycle and another N39 billion for January, the power supply situation in the country has not improved, as generation remains at low 2,054.70MW.

Checks on the national grid performance by Vanguard showed that as at 3pm yesterday, only 13 of the nation’s 32 power plants were generating 2,054.70 megawatts, with Azura-Edo plant highest at 399MW and Geregu (gas) at 394MW.  

The implication of this is that power supply is yet to improve as the country is still in darkness.

In a note to Vanguard, weekend, NBET said GenCos would be paid another N9 billion from the Power Sector Reform Programme, PRSP, soon.

The company noted that the amount was paid despite the electricity distribution companies’ remitting only 51 per cent of their invoice during the same period.

It said: “NBET paid N39 billion to GENCOs in first tranche of payments towards the settlement of January 2022 Payment Cycle. DisCos performance for same period is 51 per cent.

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“Another N9 billion from the PRSP has been approved and processed by NBET as further payments to the GenCos.”

  The latest payment brings to over N80 billion money paid to the GenCos in the last two months. 

New investment needed to boost gas supply to EU

Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has said Nigeria was ready to step in as alternative gas supplier to the European Union, following sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

Sylva stated this when EU ambassadors to Nigeria, led by the Ambassador Samuela Isopi, visited him in Abuja.

The minister explained that “one of the things we warned against earlier was the speed with which EU was taking away investments in fossil fuels. 

“We warned that the speed was faster than they were developing renewable energy. You can see now that what we were warning against is what is happening.”

He told the delegation that what had stunted the growth in the development of gas in Nigeria had been the lack of fresh investments and called for a change of attitude, if the request by the EU to increase supplies to Europe is to be realised.

In her response, Isopi urged Nigeria to take advantage of the opportunity offered by the present crisis in Europe to shore up gas supplies to Europe.

She appealed to Nigeria to step into that gap supply chain as an alternative to Russia, adding that the country must not allow the opportunity to pass it by.

While reflecting on the security situation in the Niger Delta that drastically impacted on gas supply in the last few years, Isopi asked the Federal Government to step up security in the region to guarantee gas supply to EU member states.

She particularly expressed concern over the spate of attacks on Shell, Eno and Total Energies’ gas infrastructure that led to the declaration of force majure by the companies and noted that the development was of great concern to Europe.

“The recent developments in the Niger Delta is of great concern to us,” she said, adding that the EU was, however, reassured by the recent visit by Sylva and other top government officials to the site of vandalized infrastructure in the region.

Vanguard News Nigeria