Forex Exchange, Insufficient Gas Supply Contributes To Power Sector Challenge- ACCI

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Tony Ejinkonye

The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry Limited, said instability in foreign exchange, inadequate liquidity and insufficient gas supply are hindering the optimal performance of power firms operating in Nigeria.
The President of the ACCI, Tony Ejinkonye, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday.
Ejinkonye said the difficulty in assessing Forex by the Gencos and Discos is preventing them from implementing the foreign technical service agreements with their foreign partners.
He said that the Forex situation was affecting the process of remitting money by the Gencos and Discos to their foreign associates.
This, the ACCI President said, was contributing to the current challenges in the power sector.
According to him, the issue of pricing and purchasing of local gas in dollars against naira by the Gencos to fire gas plants also accounted for the challenge in the sector.
On the Central Bank of Nigeria’s N213 billion interventions to the power sector, he said the utilisation of the fund by operators in the sector was assisting to the advancement of the power sector in Nigeria.
Ejinkonye said the CBN’s stabilisation fund was a development finance intervention to address the deterioration in the nation’s power sector.
He said the disbursement of the fund activated the Power Purchase Agreements by the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Traders and signalled activation of industry contracts for power generation.
Ejinkonye said the disbursement of over N120 billion of the fund as at May 2016 had resulted in the restoration of 905MW of power into the grid due to facility turnaround maintenance.
According to him, reports from Discos have shown that the funds assisted them to execute capacity recovery programmes in some hydropower stations, using the intake underwater repair project.
Ejinkonye also said that indicates show that the intervention fund has enabled the Discos to provide bank guarantees to Nigerian Electricity Bulk Trader (NBET), purchase of over 171,071 units of meters.
He called for the full disbursement of the balance of the fund, noting that access to the fund would also accelerate advancement in the sector.

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