Ahead of the forthcoming 18th meeting of the operators with the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, some international customers allegedly owe Nigeria about $115.91million (over N35billion) for electricity supplied.
The Guardian further learnt that the debts were owed by the CEB of Benin Republic, and NIGELEC of Niger Republic, $101.46 million and $14.45 million, respectively.
Power supply to these two countries is being executed through the Federal Government wholly owned agencies, the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET), and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
The implication of the protracted debts include inadequate power supply to Nigerians arising from deprivation of funds for purchase of power from the Generation Companies (GenCos) by NBET, and paucity of funds for expansion of transmission facilities by TCN.
Earlier in the year, the Government approved the sum of N701billion for NBET, as power purchase guarantee fund even as it currently owes the GenCos over N500billion, while the Distribution Companies (DisCos) are currently agitating for bailout funds.
The Guardian learnt that the report on international customer payments had already been submitted to the Minister with full details of the outstanding amounts owed by CEB and NIGELEC. The Minister is expected to brief the Acting President on the international transactions.
Meanwhile, a committee comprising representatives of the NBET and TCN was said to have met with CEB in Lome, Togo, to finalise and execute the Power Sale Agreement (PSA) currently being negotiated, and to prevail on CEB to immediately offset its outstanding debt.
The committee is expected to present its report at the 18th meeting with power sector operators scheduled for Kano on August 14th.Other issues likely to come up at the meeting include the prevailing load rejection by DisCos, and possible solution being proffered by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
It was learnt that NERC had earlier attributed the DisCos’ inability to off-take more loads to capacity issues on 33/11kV networks, and the impacts of unpaid balances on the DisCos balance sheets as major causes of unutilised power.
NERC planned to engage NBET to find ways by which the DisCos could draw more than their MYTO percentage allocations whenever unutilised power was available on the grid for their customers.