The Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) owe power supply debts estimated to be between N150 billion and N180 billion.
Managing Director, Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), Chiedu Ugbo, disclosed this during a media roundtable in Lagos.
The N190 billion debt, according to him, was amassed by the government agencies between 2015 and May 2023.
He said the debt had made it difficult to meet some of its obligations such as operational expenditures including stock of spares and payment to gas suppliers, among others.
While noting that the NDPHC is aso indebted to various entities in the power value chain, including gas producers, he assured that all of that had not hampered the company’s commitment to the Light Up Nigeria Project.
“Huge indebtedness by the market to NDPHC runs into hundreds of billions, N190 billion as of May for unpaid invoices. NDPHC is also not paid for availability but only as dispatched thereby depriving NDPHC of hundreds of billions since 2015 when the Transitional Electricity Market was declared, and the government has so far been denied revenue as high as N3trn,” Ugbo stated.
“Since we are being owed, we can’t also pay our gas suppliers and they too won’t supply us gas. Gas is what we use in generating power, and if we can’t generate; we can’t sell. The name plate capacity of our ten plants is 4000MW. We have the capacity to generate as much as 2000MW but we currently generate 975MW,” he said.
He added that the company had to cut down costs, and had been able to sustain operations with internally generated revenue, coupled with interventions by the Federal Government, adding that the company needs “urgent private capital mobilisation”.
“Despite the interventions and other FGN initiatives in networks, liquidity challenges persist. It is obvious that a lot more investment is required in transmission and government alone cannot do this. There is therefore need for urgent private capital mobilisation, and exploring independent transmission projects starting with Gencos as investors. With NDPHC’s track record, this is possible within the shortest possible time” Ugbo added.
The managing director further explained that the stake in 10 Integrated Power Plants (NIPPs) remains frozen due to the owners’ indecision about selling the business.
“The owners of the business has not come up with a decision to sell. We at the NDPHC are just caretakers.
“We will act based on any decision taken by the owners of the business, which are the federal and the state governments,” he added.
Speaking further on the Light Up Project, he mentioned ongoing initiatives, such as supplying Ota Industrial Clusters through the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), with several other projects in progress with different Distribution Companies (DisCos).