The trend of poor remittance from the energy distribution companies (DisCos) to the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Traders (NBET) for energy distributed is posing as a potential threat to the survival and viability of the Power Sector. Although, the DisCos have in-turn made it known that their monies are tied up as outstanding amount on customer bills.
The remittance statistics just keep getting worse in terms of numbers of DisCos that are remitting and the percentage of amount remitted. In December 2017, NBET disclosed that the remittance performances of the Discos dropped to an all-time low of 8.33 per cent.
Just recently, there had been agitations by the generating companies (GenCos) to embark on an industrial action, primarily due to the fact that they are out of funds to pay for their gas supplies. This industrial action would have led to a nationwide blackout. This situation has always been salvaged by the timely intervention of the NBET N701 billion CBN loan. The fund, which was established in 2017, was to be disbursed till 2019.
The N701 billion payment assurance loan facility secured for the generation companies was supposed to act as a bail-out fund for a period of two years. This was scheduled so as to give the DisCos time to recuperate and reduce their ATC & C losses, especially the collection losses.
As it stands presently, there are strong indications that the N701 for power generation companies (Gencos) in Nigeria may not last up to the 24 months disbursement timeline it was originally planned for.
This goes a long way to imply that all efforts at finding a lasting solution to the collections losses suffered by the DisCos should be initiated as soon as possible to remedy the present situation. As it is a known fact that the power sector is presently privatized and hence would no longer have the luxury of government’s interventions in form of subsidies and the likes.