The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission(NERC) has stated that Republics of Togo, Niger and Benin owe Nigeria a total of N29.97 billion for the electricity supplied to them from January to September 2019.
Nigeria, through its electricity transmission company, supplies power to these countries, which are classified as international customers in the Nigerian power sector.
Niger’s power firm, Societe Nigerienne d’electricite, failed to pay a total invoice of N3.01 billion it received in the Q1 of 2019; N3.69 billion in Q1 and N4.1 billion in Q3.
Communaute Electrique du Benin, a power firm owned by Togo and Benin, did not pay N9.74 billionfor the power supplied to it in Q1; N7.16 billion in Q2 and N2.27 billion in Q3.
NERC in its latest quarterly report released on Friday sais the international customers made no payment for the total outstanding debt in Q3.
“The Nigerian government has continued to engage the governments of neighbouring countries benefitting from the export supply to ensure timely payments for the electricity purchased from Nigeria,” it said.
The commission said the financial viability and commercial performance of the Nigerian electricity supply industry continued to be a major challenge.
According to the report, a total invoice of N179.66 billion was issued to the power distribution companies for energy received from the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc and for service charge by the Market Operator in Q3, but only a sum of N58.81 billion was settled.
The government-owned Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading(NBET) buys electricity in bulk from generation companies through Power Purchase Agreements and sells through vesting contracts to the Discos, which then supply it to the consumers.
“Although the Discos fully met the minimum remittance for Market Operations(MO), the average aggregate remittance performance to NBET was 32.73 percent, with performance level ranging from 19.43 percent(Jos) to 50.03 percent(Eko).
“This is slightly lower than the minimum remittance threshold prescribed in the orders on minimum remittance issued to all Discos in July 2019 with Enugu and Ikeja failing to meet their remittance obligation during the period,” NERC said.
It added that following the commencement of enforcement of the minimum remittance order, all Discos had since fully complied with their respective minimum remittance thresholds.
“Notwithstanding the slight progress recorded in the third quarter of 2019, the financial viability of the Nigerian electricity supply industry is still a major challenge threatening its sustainability,” the commission said.
Recently, the West African Gas Pipeline Company Limited(WAPCO) said it was resuming its supply of natural gas from Nigeria to its customers in Republic of Benin, Togo and Ghana.
It disclosed this while announcing the successful completion of the cleaning and inspection of its 20 offshore pipeline from Badagry in Nigeria to Takoradi in Ghana.
WAPCO is the operator of the West African Gas Pipeline, which was built to supply natural gas from Nigeria to customers in Republics of Benin, Togo and Ghana.