The eleven electricity distribution companies in Nigeria remitted a total of N291bn to the Central Bank of Nigeria within the space of eight months.
Data obtained from the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc showed that the Discos remitted N291bn out of the N526bn invoice for electricity that was sold to them from January to August 2022.
The electricity was produced by power generation companies. Nigeria has 26 Gencos, which include Kainji, Shiroro, Egbin, Ughelli Transcorp, Sapele, Geregu, Afam IV-V, Olurunsogo, Omotosho, Olaoji, and Geregu NIPP.
Others include Odupka NIPP, Olurunsogo NIPP, Omotosho NIPP, Ihovor NIPP, Gbarain NIPP, Ibom, Rivers NIPP, Trans Amadi, Omoku, Mabon Azura, Shell (Afam VI), and Jebba.
A breakdown of what was remitted in each month revealed that Discos’ payment for January was N39bn out of N72bn.
In February, they remitted N40bn out of N66bn, while in March it was N31bn out of N65bn.
In April the power distributors remitted N39bn out of N64bn, and in May it was N30bn of out N63, while in the month of June they paid N33bn out of N58bn.
In July they remittted N39bn out of N72bn, and in August they paid N40bn out of N66bn.
The spokesperson for the Gencos, Joy Ogaji, recently accused the Discos of remitting only about four per cent.
When asked why power supply had dropped following allegations by the utility firms that they got low supply from Gencos, Ogaji said, “Ask the Discos their payment threshold for the power allocated to them. Electricity is not free. When they take and pay four per cent out of 100 per cent, what do they think?”
She, however, declined to state what the four per cent translated to, and how much was the total debt owed by the Discos.
Responding to media’s enquiry, the Head, Corporate Communications, NBET, Henrietta Ighommore, debunked the four per cent payment claim by Ogaji.
“That’s impossible. Never in the history of Nigeria has such happened. Even the worst Discos have not made such terrible payments before. August was the last payment circle and the Discos have paid up,” she said.
She stated that in January, the Discos’ payments to Gencos was 64 per cent; in February, 60 per cent; in March, 49 per cent; April, 61 per cent; May, 48 per cent; June, 68 per cent; July, 71 per cent; and August, 75 per cent.
At the annual conference of the Association of Energy Correspondents in Nigeria in August, Ogaji had stated that the Discos debt to Gencos was N2tn.
“Gencos are not owed N500bn as accepted by NBET. We are owed N2tn, while we owe suppliers N1tn,” she said.
She further explained that the Gencos had not been able to make power available due to the huge debts being owed them by the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc.
Metering expert, Sesan Okunade, told media source that the inability of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission to ensure the fulfilment of promises made by the investors upon privatisation was the reason for the failure in the sector.
He said, “The problem with the Federal Government and NERC is the poor monitoring of the activities of the Discos to the set terms of the contract during the privatisation. This has created a wide gap from the promises made and the successes achieved so far.