Electricity firms get additional N39.5b intervention fund to boost supply
• CBN, others to monitor use of fund
• NERC set to sanction companies over outage
MORE money (N39.527 billion) was yesterday released to four distribution companies (Discos) and six generation companies (Gencos) who have met the condition precedent for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intervention fund of N213 billion to boost efficiency in the power sector.
The N39, 527 billion released yesterday brought the amount so far disbursed to over N50 billion, as penultimate week, the bank released the first tranche of N18.261 billion to two DISCOS and three GENCOS, as follows: Ibadan Distribution Company Plc, N11.367 billion; Eko Distribution Company Plc, N5.164 billion, Jebba Hydroelectrics Plc, N816.627 million; Kainji Hydroelectrics Plc, N234.815 million and Shirioro Hydroelectric Plc, N678.650 million respectively.
The electricity firms that benefitted yesterday and the amount they got are as follows: Enugu Distribution Company, N10.256 billion; Kano Distribution Company, N7.638 billion and Port Harcourt Distribution Company, N6.581 billion. The GENCOS that benefited yesterday were: Jebba Power Plant, N2.380 billion; Kainji Power Plant, N68.5 million; Shiroro N1.978 billion; Delta, N3.918 billion; Egbin, N5.106 billion; and Gregu, N938.991 million.
The loan which has 10- year repayment duration is at a 10 per cent interest rate per annum.
Speaking shortly before the presentation of the symbolic cheques for the amount, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, reminded them that the funds were not grant, hence they should deploy it effectively to enhance their operations, impact on the overall economy and meet up with the repayment timelines.
He said: “ This facility is meant to catalyze power sector, therefore we expect you to deploy for the procurement of your equipment and metering to enhance your generation and distribution capacity aimed at ensuring power sufficiency which should ultimately impact on the economy of Nigeria.”
Meanwhile, the Executive Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Sam Amadi, has cautioned the power sector firms against continued outage in the country following the CBN intervention and directed them to deploy the funds to ensure optimum efficiency, warning that henceforth, any firm found culpable would be seriously sanctioned.
His words: “Let me remind you again that this facility is not a grant but a loan which you have to repay. It is specifically meant to assist you upgrade your operations to cut down on losses and improve power supply to Nigerians. Now, with this assistance, NERC would no longer tolerate outage and any power firm, be it a disco, genco or TCN, that is found culpable for outage will be seriously sanctioned.”
In a related development, the Director- General of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Benjamin Dikki, has declared that the BPE in conjunction with other stakeholders will monitor the deployment of the facility by the beneficiaries, insisting that the facility is meant to assist particularly the discos who have been incurring about 40 to 60 per cent of power generated due to decaying power infrastructure. He said the fund was designed to enable them replace such infrastructure.
His explanation is contained in a statement by the Acting Head of Public Communication of the BPE, Mr. Alex Okoh, after a radio programme.
The statement quoted Dikki as saying during the radio programme that “from conception of the power sector reforms in Nigeria, it was calculated that 40-60% of power generated was lost due to technical faults and inefficiencies in transmission and distribution occasioned by inadequate investment and poor maintenance culture.