Wednesday, January 13, 2016 4:39 pm
Despite the pains Nigerians go through, courtesy of dismal power supply, the Power Generating, Transmission and Distribution Companies, as well as gas suppliers insist that without the implementation of an immediate tariff review, the sector will continue to record a deficit of at least N20 billion on monthly basis.
An Industry source disclosed that revenue shortfall by generating and distribution companies, DISCOs and GENCOs, has climbed to N480 billion since November 2013 when the defunct PHCN assets were unbundled and transferred to private investors. These new handlers have since declared that they have been battling with problems not envisaged because the data given to them about the state of the power sector facilities was not in tune with the agreement they signed upon privatization.
Worse still, only N64 billion out of the N213 billion loan facility that should have been made fully available to the DISCOs and GENCOs by now, has reached their hands. The power companies decry the fact that they have been unable to access the rest of the fund, put at approximately N150 billion, that would have gone a long way to boost their capacity to deliver more power to Nigerians.
Although the Transitional Electricity Market, TEM, officially commenced on 1 February, 2015 the distribution companies were asked to pay full market bills, even though cost reflective tariffs were not in place. However despite the cash flow problems, DISCOs alone claim they have pumped N27 billion into assets and improvements since they took over. The monies have been spent on ICT, machinery, billing systems, customer service, service vehicles, distribution network, replacements and expansion.
The power companies have also disclosed that despite the complaints an cries of electricity users, about 50 per cent of power bought is still not paid for on monthly basis due to inadequate collection, outright power theft, insufficient infrastructure and non-cost reflective tariff.