Officials of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) have said that the power sector may be heading for a total collapse if the current paucity of funds in the industry is not addressed quickly, The Punch reports.
The General Manager/Head, Power Procurement and Power Contracts, NBET, Mr. Yesufu Alonge said that the inability of NBET to pay about N156bn owed the generation firms was primarily because the distribution companies were not paying for the power delivered to them by the generating companies through the Transmission Company of Nigeria. The power distribution companies in turn have repeatedly complained that they are not meeting their obligations because of the huge debts owed them by electricity consumers, particularly the historical debts owed by the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the government.
Similarly, officials at NERC and the Power ministry said that it was high time the government intervened in the sector in order to avert an imminent collapse. “There is a problem in this sector and that problem is paucity of funds to run the various businesses in it. Power consumers don’t want to pay increased tariff; Discos don’t have money to remit to NBET and NBET can’t pay the Gencos. This is the time for the government to intervene before we regret privatising this sector,” a senior official at NERC, who spoke in confidence, said.