Record N191bn shortfall in 7 months
By Obas Esiedesa
POWER generation companies, or GenCos, are facing serious liquidity challenges after receiving just N262.075 billion of their total N453.575 billion invoice sent to the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading, or NBET, Plc, a payment performance of 57.7 percent. This left the power generators with an unpaid N191.5 billion shortfall in revenue in the first seven months of 2022. While electricity generation has continued to improve following the implementation of the partial power purchase agreement by the Federal Government on July 1, 2022, the debt owed by the market to the GenCos has also risen.
Data made available to Energy Vanguard by NBET showed that in January this year, the GenCos got N38.876 billion from a combined invoice of N72.464 billion, a performance of 53.6 per cent. A monthly breakdown of the amount paid to the GenCos showed that in February they received N40.084 billion from a combined invoice of N66.551 billion, or 60.23 per cent. In March, the GenCos got just 48.35 percent or N31.27 billion, of their N64.673 billion invoice. Performance improved in April when the GenCos got $N38.783 billion, or 60.6 per cent of the combined invoice of $N63.975 billion.
Performance again dipped in May, when the GenCos got N30.091 billion or 48 percent of a total invoice of N62.625 billion. Payment to the GenCos improved in June, when they got N33.479 billion or 57.4 per cent of a total invoice of N58.28 billion. In July, payments to the GenCos were boosted following the introduction of the partial power purchase agreement by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC.
According to figures from NBET, the GenCos put in a combined invoice of N65 billion and received N34.68 billion from the bulk trader and another N14.807 billion from the federal government as payment for tariff shortfall and excess tariff remittance.
Despite the effort by the government to shore up the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, NESI, data from the National System Operator, NSO, showed that power generation dropped to 4,218.9 megawatts on Saturday from 4,735.1 MW recorded four days earlier.“Growing market shortfall
Speaking earlier on the growing revenue shortfall, the Executive Secretary of the Association of Power Generation Companies, APGC, Dr. Joy Ogaji said the NBET owed the GenCos N1.644 trillion. Dr. Ogaji who gave a breakdown of the debts, said NBET owed the GenCos N214.93 billion in 2015; N273.32 billion in 2016; N236.47 in 2017, N264.08 billion in 2018, and N256.97 billion, N266.01 billion and N120.25 billion in 2019, 2020, and 2021 respectively.
The figures were, however, disputed by NBET which claimed that not all GenCos were entitled to unutilized capacity payments.
Dr. Ogaji explained that the huge debt was making it difficult for the power generation companies to operate and maintain their plants. According to her, the “illiquidity caused by the huge sums owed GenCos by NBET, has more than ever before continued to frustrate the GenCos and kept them incapable of meeting their obligations, which are extremely necessary to keep their power plants running and make capacities available, while observing required Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) standards