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Monday, November 18

Blackout looms as GenCos threaten shutdown over N600 billion

Blackout is looming from the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) as the Generation Companies (GenCos) on Sunday threatened to shutdown production should the Federal Government refuses to disburse the N600billion intervention fund.

The GenCos, speaking through the Executive Secretary, Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC), Dr. Joy Ogaji revealed to reporters in Abuja that the GenCos have been indebted to extent that their gas suppliers no longer supply them.

This, according to her, has compelled three GenCos to shutdown their operations.

She noted that if the N600bn is not released in record time, a deliberate decision or economic forces will force the remaining GenCos to stop production.

Ogaji disclosed that the GenCos have been receiving only 15 percent of their invoices since June/July whereas nothing less than 20 to 30 percent of their invoices can sustain their operations.

The spokesperson also alleged that the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc has been threatening the GenCos that they will not receive the intervention fund without consenting to the payment of 0.75 percent administrative charge.

She added that the NBET Managing Director, Dr. Marilyn Amobi has been calling on the owners of the GenCos to forward their board resolution to access the N600billion.

Ogaji however noted that the call was misleading since the Central Bank of Nigeria was yet to release the fund. The spokesperson, stressed that CBN paid the previous interventions directly to power firms and gas suppliers.

Her words: “We have heard the news, which was part of what we told you in September, that the Federal Government is working on releasing N600 billion for us. From that time till this moment, it is still news that the Federal Government is still working on it.

“Now the reason we ca this press conference is because NBET has been threatening calling the GenCos, especially the owners (investors) , telling them that she has the money with her if only they will send the board resolution she would pay the money.

“But the truth is that, I have done my own findings, CBN has not released the money. And if you know how the N701b was dealt with, no money was released NBET. CBN paid the money directly to all the GenCos and gas suppliers, calling the GenCos owners and lying to them that she has the money is a misleading fact.

“So, if NBET excesses are not checked and this N600billion is not released on time, whether we deliberately shutdown or not, the machines will shutdown by themselves. This is because gas suppliers have stopped giving gas to some of the GenCos.

“You are comparing that power has reduced, if you check the market payment from the DisCos, July or June, was 15 percent, out of that 15 percent, we paid gas suppliers. So, what is left. A typical GenCo needs 20 to 30 percent to be able to operate. The earlier that money is released to us, power will continue, if it is not, the forces of economy will come to play.”

Amobi however did not respond to calls and text messages on the allegation.

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