Faced with liquidity challenge, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has expressed concerns over the failure of Benin Republic, Niger and Togo to pay N32.04 billion bills for electricity supplied them in 2019.
Nigeria supplied the electricity to the three countries through two electricity transmission companies, Niger’s power firm, Societe Nigerienne Electricity and Communaute Electrique du Benin, a power firm owned by Togo and Benin.
According to Premium Times, the two companies are classified as international customers in the Nigeria power sector. Quoting a data from the NERC, the online media said the Nigerian electricity commission had earlier said the three countries owed N29.97 billion.
The commission is being owed by the three countries even as it laments that the financial viability of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry is still a major challenge threatening its sustainability
A breakdown of the N32.04 billion debt shows that Niger received electricity supply in four phases in 2019 amounting to N3.01 billion in the first quarter, N3.69 billion in the second quarter, N4.1 billion in the third quarter and N2.07 billion in the fourth quarter.
Benin and Togo were supplied electricity in three phases in 2019, N9.74 billion for the power supplied in the first quarter, N7.16 billion in the second quarter, and N2.27 billion in the third quarter of the year. The two countries did not receive any invoice for the fourth quarter of 2019, Premium Times reported.
NERC said in its latest quarterly report that, during the quarter under review, the special and international class of customers made no payment to the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc and the Market Operator.
The NERC quarterly report analyses the state of the Nigerian electricity industry (covering operational and commercial performance), regulatory functions, consumer affairs as well as the commission’s finances and staff development.
“The Federal Government has continued to engage the governments of neighbouring countries benefitting from the export supply to ensure timely payments for electricity purchased from Nigeria,” the NERC report said.