BLACKOUT LOOMS AS GENCOS THREATENS TO SHUT DOWN POWER PLANT NATIONWIDE

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It seems Nigeria may experience widespread blackout soon as Nigerian electricity generation companies (GenCos) have threatened to shut down power generation across the country if the federal government does not intervene and call the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) to order.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday, the Executive Secretary, Association of Power Generation Companies, Joy Ogaji, said the decision was made owing to the indebtedness of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) to the GenCos. It was said that NBET’s insistence to impose a 0.75 per cent administrative charge on Gencos for payment of gas invoices was the reason for the imminent power shutdown by Gencos.

“NBET has now reduced its role to blackmailing/threatening GenCo investors/Chairmen who have refused to concede to NBET’s illegal demand of a 0.75% charge on invoices paid to gas suppliers,” Ogaji said.

“NBET has clearly threatened not to release payments due GenCos until they accede to NBET’s request, urging them to agree for a quid pro quo with the 0.75% administrative charge.

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“This singular action by NBET, may lead to shutdown of power supply by GenCos, who have unanimously agreed to call the bluff of NBET. A lot of Nigerians are aware of the liquidity challenge Generating Companies (GenCos) are faced with due to NBET’s breach of the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) terms of 100% payment for power generated and supplied. GenCos indebtedness to their gas suppliers is due to NBET’s indebtedness to them. No Genco has any outstanding gas payment that is more than what NBET owes the Genco. Put differently, NBET is indirectly charging 0.75% for paying its debt to GenCos”

It was also gathered that the indebtedness of NBET to power generation companies had risen above N1tn. Efforts to get NBET’s reaction were unsuccessful, as calls to the firm’s Managing Director, Marilyn Amobi, rang out. A text message to her mobile line was also yet to be responded to as of press time.

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