An audit report of debt by Federal Government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to power distribution companies (DISCos) has revealed an indebtedness of N59.3 billion by top 100 customers, like defence, military and security agencies owing N51 billion.
This was the communiqué at the 13th meeting of power sector stakeholders yesterday with the Minister of Power, Babatunde Fashola, hosted by the Transcorp Power Limited, Ughelli, Delta State.
The report stated that all verified bills would be recommended for payment on a first-come first-serve basis as a demonstration of government’s determination to lead by example with regards to payment for electricity delivered.
Although the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) reported an improved compliance with submission of audited accounts by DISCos, the stakeholders said that NERC should more rigorously to perform regulatory duties.
In their comments, Fashola and Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa charged power generating companies (GENCos) and the DISCos to do more to ensure regular power supply to Nigerians.
They maintained that regular electricity is critical to the nation’s industrial, technological and infrastructural development.
Fashola also chided the DISCos for failing to strengthen their transformers, thereby leading to epileptic power supplies as a result of frequent breakdowns.
Okowa slammed the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) for the poor power supply in his state. He declared: “No matter what you generate, if it does not get to the common man, then it becomes a problem.”
Okowa charged all stakeholders to ensure peace in their communities to ensure peaceful operation of the power companies.
The Chairman of Transcorp Power, Mr. Tony Elumelu told the minister and governor: “We have two issues: one is liquidity. We want the minister to fast-track access to the Liquidation Assurance Programme funds. The second is gas. We want to do, but there is no gas. We can generate 620WM but due to poor access to gas supply we are handicapped.”
The power sector operators present included the NERC, managing directors and CEOs of GENCos, DISCos, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), as well as various government agencies such as the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET), Nigerian Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO) and Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) and other operators in the electricity industry.