The Federal Government of Nigeria has stated that the Ministries Departments Agencies electricity debt to the electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) shall be paid through debt that they owed the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading company, NBET.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola told the DisCos at the 20th monthly Power Sector stakeholders’ meeting in Owerri, Imo State that the Federal Executive Council had approved the verified sum of Federal Government debts of N25.9b as debt owed to them.
“In the last month also, specifically on Wednesday 4th October 2017, the Federal Executive Council approved the verified sum of Federal Government MDA debts of N25.9Billion, and its payment by setting it off against the debts owed by the DisCos to NBET,” he said.
“We are also making promising progress in recovering debts due from international Customers and you will be notified of how much has been received when the appropriate accounts confirm that they have received value for the credits we have been notified of.
“You will be receiving official communication of how these have been applied to reduce debts owed by DisCos to NBET.”
He said that his understanding of their request for investment recovery was that there should be tariff review.
Fashola noted that “Understandably you are concerned about investment recovery and in your views, the solution is a tariff review.”
He also said that the power distributors were seeking that in respect of possible investment in Distribution equipment that Government should route the investment through the DisCos.
The companies had in letter to the minister requested for the channelization of the investment through them.
Fashola told the DIScos that the Federal Government was yet to decide on how to channel its investments in distribution assets.
The Minister had in August announced that the investment in metering and other power sector activities were opened to other investors.
The minister reminded the distribution companies that government is a 40% shareholder of the DisCos (on behalf of the Federal, State, Local Governments and Workers) and therefore has a self-benefitting interest in the wellbeing and efficiency of the DisCos.
Fashola to them that “At this preliminary stage therefore, you letter and concerns focus first on the business, while the Government initiatives focus more on service.
Consensus should give us both; the service and the business.”
He submitted that the concerns contained in the letter under reference can and will be managed through consultations which NERC has been undertaking to his knowledge.
Consultations, said the minister, will help to build consensus about how best to serve customers, instead of festering gulfs of disagreement, Worldstage reports.