The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, seems to be under severe pressure to resign, as under his watch, Generating Companies, GENCOs, and Distribution Companies, DISCOs, have threatened to throw over 180 million Nigerians into total darkness.
According to GENCOs, the Federal Government is owing the company over N300 billion, while DISCOs are being owed over N100 billion, by customers.
Recall, that the companies had called on the Federal Government to intervene, as they are going bankrupt, and as such, will not be able to generate and distribute electricity efficiently nationwide.
Most recently, the companies had complained that with the huge debt burden, they are presently lacking the funding requirement to purchase equipment, and spare parts, for maintenance and upgrading of power facilities.
Amidst the current controversy, the Executive Secretary, Association of Power Generation Companies, Dr. Joy Ogaji, said, “The debt is over N300 billion, that GENCOs are being owed.
“If the situation is not checked, there will be blackout.
“It is so imminent, that I don’t know if most of the generation we are having now, can go beyond Christmas, if the payment problem is not solved.
“We can’t pay contractors; most of the machines are packing up,” Ogaji said.
Speaking further, Ogaji said the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company, NBET, should be blamed for the problem, saying, “As GENCOs, we don’t really have any direct relationship with DISCOs at the moment; GENCOs are meant to generate power, and government brought NBET as a wholesaler, which takes all the power being generated by GENCOs, and sells to the DISCOs. So the onus lies on NBET to collect the money from the DISCOs.
”The claim on whether DISCOs are remitting money, or not, should not be the problem of the GENCOs, but that of NBET.
“Government told us that NBET is properly capitalised, and has enough money to meet all of the GENCOs’ payments.
“But unfortunately, NBET has not been able to do that”, Ogaji lamented.
Source: Post Nigeria