Remittances by DISCOs to FG Drop

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Rumundaka Wonodi

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The Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading says that remittances will be affected by drop in power generation

| By Anayo Ezugwu | Jun 1, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT |

THE drop in power generation in April and May will affect the remittances made by electricity distribution companies to the federal government. The Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading, NBET, is of the view that remittances from the DISCOs will likely drop for the period. Rumundaka Wonodi, managing director, NBET, who spoke on the sidelines of the firm’s second annual general meeting in Abuja, said that the transitional electricity market has begun and that means that “we are beginning to receive payments from the distribution companies for power supplied and we are making payments to the generation companies.”

“Trading has fully begun. We believe compliance should be full for the month of March. February was a different time and the issue about drop in generation could affect April and May,” he said.

On whether there would be penalty against DISCOs that failed to remit funds, Wonodi said, “We have not got to where you will bill for those months; the things that happened this month will come in another one and a half months when you do the settlement and until we see the invoicing settlement from the market operator and the response from the distribution companies, we will then know what to do.” The bulk trader is bound to pay the power generation companies and the DISCOs must make the necessary remittances in order to pay the GENCOs, he said.

Also, the distribution firms make monthly remittances to the federal government through the Electricity Market Operator and the bulk trader. The money paid to the market operator is used to settle the power generation firms and the Transmission Company of Nigeria. On Thursday, May 14, Godknows Igali, permanent secretary, federal ministry of power, had stated that the country lost 1,800 megawatts of electricity in the last one month.

Igali, who stated this at a meeting between officials of the ministry and the Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy, also attributed the deteriorating power outages in the country to the activities of vandals. He lamented that hoodlums had been destroying both oil and gas pipelines across the country in recent times.

“We have been able to explain to electricity consumers that the current power outage is as a result of high rate of pipeline vandalism. The hoodlums vandalise both the crude pipelines and gas pipelines. The more sinister one, which is with a lot of pain, is when people deliberately blow up the pipes clearly marked as gas pipelines. They blow them up almost every day and that denies the power plants some gas. Unfortunately, our country depends on a lot of gas. We have hydro plants in Shiroro, Jebba and Kainji, which are the major ones. But in the dry season, the hydro plants do not do well,” he said.

Igali, however, said the security operatives had in the last two months caught about 200 people who were vandalising gas pipelines. He noted that the vandals were in the custody of the security agencies and undergoing interrogation. “Security agencies have arrested 200 people vandalising gas pipelines in the last two months and they are interviewing them and working with communities to solve this problem and put it behind us.”

Philip Aduda, chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy, consequently summoned Benjamin Dikki, director-general, Bureau for Public Enterprises, BPE, and other heads of agencies under the ministry of power to appear before it. He said the top government functionaries would be required to give further clarifications on the current diminishing state of power supply in the country. Members of the committee had during the meeting expressed serious concern over the worsening state of power supply in the country.

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