The Electricity Generation Companies otherwise known as (GenCos) are yet to access the power sector N701billion assurance guarantee funds, owing to their inability to meet the Federal Government conditions for it, it was learnt on Monday.
The Executive Secretary, Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC), Mrs. Joy Ogaji told The Nation in her Abuja office that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has put a snag of about 10 conditions precedent to accessing the funds which none of the the power generating firms had met.
She said that: “Well, to the best of my knowledge, the fund has not been accessed, and as at today (Monday) this morning, they have not yet met the conditions, we call it conditions precedents (CPs) which the CBN gave them to meet.
“They are about 10 CPs and they have not met them. And until they meet them, CBN said they cannot release the money.”
The Minister of Power Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola had on August 14, in the last power sector meeting in Kano State announced that some of the policies, programmees, actions which have started taking effect include payment of assurance guarantee of N701 billion.
But Ogaji noted that the federal government placed the conditions after conducting its due diligence prior to the approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Responding to the Minister of Power Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola’s announcement that any GenCo could invest in meeting, she said the most important thing is to put the right framework for the investors to recoup their money.
According to her, from 2013 that the GenCos took over the companies to September 2017, they have recorded a cumulative shortfall from N893billion.
She explained that “the GenCos have a lot of money at stake in the sector. From 2013 to 2016, were are being owed over N650billion . Then January this year to September if you check an invoice shortfall of about N27billion, you know exactly how much we are owed.”
Ogaji said that gas is not a major challenge to power generation at the moment, adding that most of the stations have gas waiting to generate power but the transmission networks are too weak to take extra power.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), according to her, has just invited the GenCos to a consultative forum on eligible customers that would hold in the six geo-political zones starting on Wednesday in Lagos.
All the GenCos have cordial relationships with their host communities where the plants are sited. However, once we are in the raining seasons the hydros have overflowing dams and because the network is preventing them from generating to optimum capacity there is a possibility of water spillage which will affect the communities . I am aware of some communities complaining that the spillage is affecting them. As you know flood is been around everywhere not only in Nigeria. So, the government needs to focus more in the network so that we can generate at optimum capacity and prevent such spillages. There is a community close to Kainji but I don’t know the name.”