N210bn power Fund: Kaduna, Yola DisCo yet to ac­cess N51bn since 2015 ...other firms re­pay N19bn

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - By Si­mon Echewo­fun Sun­day

Three years after the Cen­tral Bank of Nige­ria (CBN) launched the N210 bil­lion Elec­tric­ity Mar­ket Sta­bil­i­sa­tion Fund (NEMSF), two power firms - Kaduna and Yola elec­tric­ity Distri­bu­tion Com­pa­nies (DisCos) are yet to meet re­quire­ments to ac­cess N51bn of the fa­cil­ity since 2015 when the dis­burse­ment be­gan.

A CBN re­port on the dis­burse­ment for this month ob­tained by Daily Trust showed that about 47 other power firms who ben­e­fited from the fund have re­paid N19.3bn.

The NEMSF was meant to re­vive the ail­ing power sec­tor with a N210bn mar­ket short­fall as at De­cem­ber 2014, the doc­u­ment re­vealed. Out of the N210.6bn pegged for the sec­tor, CBN had dis­bursed N158.7bn (75 per cent); from this dis­burse­ment, the ben­e­fi­cia­ries re­paid N19.3bn while there is N139.3bn out­stand­ing re­pay­ment.

De­spite the fa­cil­ity re­pay­ment by other firms, CBN said it is yet to dis­burse 25 per cent of the fund, about N51bn to the two DisCos cit­ing their in­abil­ity to fully sign-on to the fa­cil­ity.

“Ef­fort to sign on th­ese DisCos are al­ready been in­ten­si­fied as both DisCos have made re­mark­able progress in this re­gard,” the re­port noted.

Daily Trust re­ports that the mar­ket short­fall is of­fi­cially about N800bn ac­cord­ing to the Fed­eral Min­istry of Power, Works and Hous­ing. But the pri­vate sec­tor op­er­a­tors of the power firms have in­sisted that the short­fall has risen to over N1tn.

With the fa­cil­ity, op­er­a­tors were to clear the legacy debts wrapped around gas and con­tracts that lin­gered be­fore the power sec­tor pri­vati­sa­tion in Novem­ber 2013 to im­prove ser­vice de­liv­ery.

It is said to have a six months mora­to­rium and the ben­e­fit­ing firms were ex­pected to pay back the loans in 10 years at 11 per cent in­ter­est, some of the ben­e­fit­ing op­er­a­tors said.

On the im­pact of the dis­bursed fund, the re­port shows the ben­e­fit­ting DisCos pro­vided N13.78bn se­cu­rity cover to the Nige­rian Bulk Elec­tric­ity Trad­ing Plc (NBET) and the Mar­ket Oper­a­tor (MO) as re­quired un­der the vest­ing con­tracts/mar­ket rules to serve as guar­an­tee for DisCos’ pay­ment for en­ergy charges and an­cil­lary ser­vice charges.

It also helped the DisCos to pur­chase 704,928 me­ters for their cus­tomers; they also pur­chased and in­stalled over 500 trans­form­ers to en­hance the distri­bu­tion net­works.

CBN said the DisCos used part of the fa­cil­ity to re­ha­bil­i­tate over 2,000 kilo­me­tres of 11 kilo­volt (KV) lines and 130km of 0.45KV lines.

While it said 56 sub­sta­tions were re­ha­bil­i­tated and con­structed, over N24bn has been paid to gas sup­pli­ers to boost more gas sup­ply for power gen­er­a­tion. From in­cep­tion of the fund, the re­port said over 1,000 megawatts (MW) of gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity at the Gen­er­a­tion Com­pa­nies (GenCos) has been re­cov­ered.

Min­is­ter of Power, Works and Hous­ing, Mr Ba­batunde Fashola

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