The federal government is currently making moves to pay the outstanding debts owed Gas Companies, Generation Companies (Gencos) and Distribution companies (Discos).

The Minister for Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola made this known at the 12th Monthly Power Sector and Stakeholders Meeting held Ibadan yesterday.

“Government had made some progress in resolving some of the liquidity issues. I believe that within the last one month, some of the payments that were due to some of you ought to have been remitted by NBET as they promised. If they haven’t been remitted, I sure you it is only procedural process. The approvals have been given; you will get the money,” he said.

“But what is more important is that we have spent the last month holding top-level government meetings to identify the debts owed to the gas companies and the generation companies and in the shortest possible time that it will require us to do so, we intend to settle the outstanding liabilities, debts and to provide a comfort assurance from government that every month those who actually produce power will get paid. So, we will conclude that very soon,” he stressed.

As for the Discos, Fashola said that without prejudging the report we will get today in terms of claims and proof of debts from the office of the senior special assistant to the Vice President who is managing the verification of claims of Discos.

“I believe that after this meeting it will no longer necessary and obligatory for us to wait for all Discos to prove their debts. We will decide to pay those who prove their debts on a first-come-first-served basis and move on.”

Commenting on complaints regarding service delivery from a town called Ago-Iwoye under IBEDC’s distribution area, Fashola  said the community was complaining about incessant load shedding of power supply and this is a matter for TCN really.

He advised that there is need to install an additional 60MVA transformer, which is currently going on actually at Ijebu-Ode.

According to him, I am told that the project has since stalled; so TCN to note and brief us in the course of local issues on transmission.

On the problems in the industry, Fashola said sabotage of gas assets and pipelines has decommissioned power plants and their ability to provide up to 3,000 megawatts of power.

He said that the 3,500 to 3,800MW that we have been able to keep on the grid over the last few months will be assisted greatly if we can have the gas pipelines back and that 3,000MW to it.

According to him, that means we will be able to deliver well over 6,000MW if the gas pipelines are safe.

“That sabotage has also created debt problem, shortfall in power expectation, and therefore, shortfall in recovery because consumers are more resistant to payment when they don’t have electricity, and I will be too and you will be too.

And we see that they pay more when the power is more stable. Of course, there are issues also at the retail end – metering, estimated bills.

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