Dear Nigerians, Darkness is Coming as imminent shutdown in power looms

Generation companies (GENCOs) in Nigeria have warned of an “imminent shutdown” in power nationwide if five demands are not met soon. Their demands published in newspaper adverts this week include payment of outstanding debts by the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc, disbursement of intervention funds by the Central Bank, solving the problem of gas shortages, reviewing tariffs and transparent collections from consumers.

NBET is the federal government company which enters into power purchase agreements with generation companies and resells power to distribution companies. It recently said in a statement that it has paid the sum of N186.7 billion to GENCOs and was “only owing them about N156 billion.” Unimpressed by NBET’s statement, the GENCOs wondered how they are expected to survive when they were being owed such a huge sum.

The generating companies also said that even though they have met the requirements to get the CBN intervention fund, the bank was yet to disburse it to them and now their own bankers are calling in the loans they collected. “We would like to state categorically that the GENCOs are not interested in free funds. We are only interested in funds owed to us for power already generated,” the advert stated.

The GENCOs complained about the shortage in gas supply which is needed to produce electricity and also called for a review of electricity tariff in order to remain in operation.

“In 2013, exchange rate was N150/$1. Today it is N310. How can we repair, equip, acquire new turbines at this rate of N310/$1 and yet still operate with an old tariff?” the GENCOs said.


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