â€¢ FG, CBN to create FX window for power sector
By Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) has paid out N17,801,337,671 from the N701 billion power supply payment guaranteed loan it got from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to 20 out of the 22 electricity generation companies (Gencos) that produce the electricity as the first tranche of disbursements for power they generated and supplied in January, THISDAY has learnt.
This is just as the federal government and CBN are considering a new policy that could create a predictable foreign exchange window to guarantee for the countryâ€™s power sector.
Documents exclusively obtained by THISDAY from the NBET at the weekend in Abuja, confirmed that the disbursements of the N701 billion CBN loan to power Gencos and gas companies have actually commenced as recently disclosed by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola.
The payments which covered the January supply invoices of the Gencos, indicated that out of a total of N35,078,125,791 in invoices that were submitted by 20 Gencos, an aggregate of N28,062,500,633 was paid out, with N10,261,162,962 coming from the market revenues remitted to the Market Operator (MO) by the 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos) while N17,801,337,671 came from the CBN loan.
The documents also showed that the combination of the CBN credit facility and market fund generated by the Discos ensured that up to 80 per cent of the Gencosâ€™ January invoices were paid.
It further revealed that guaranteed payments worth N10,394,495,681 was equally paid to gas suppliers within the same period.
NBET also confirmed Fasholaâ€™s recent disclosure that disbursements processes for the Gencosâ€™ February invoices under the CBN facility were done with actual payment almost concluded as well.
Details of the disbursement further showed that Kainji hydro power which submitted an invoice of N2,747,204,152, was paid N2,197,763,321; Jebba hydro power submitted N2,721,125,712, and got paid N2,176,900,570; Shiroro submitted N2,324,959,243, got N1,859,967,395; while Egbin N3,654,775,465 and got paid N2,923,820,372.
Trancorp Ughelli got paid N2,792,620,308 from the N3,490,775,385 invoice it submitted; Sapele power got paid N611,733,354 from the N764,666,692 invoice it tendered; Geregu tendered N2,049,452,559 and got 1,639,562,047 in payment; Olorunsogo submitted N2,059,826,382 and was paid N1,647,861,106; Omotosho got N1,755,065,539 for the N2, 193,831,924 invoice it sent in; Shell Afam VI got N2,101,701,445 for its N2,627,126,806 invoice; and Agip Okpai plant got N3,205,033,019 for the N4,006,291,273 invoice it submitted.
Alaoji; Gbarain; Geregu; Ihovbor; Odukpani; Olorunsogo; Omotosho; and Sapele power plants owned by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) under the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs) framework were paid N419,867,240; N342,323,537; N583,595,067; N660,990,847; N1,026,353,650; N125,422,631; N725,631,700; and N600,802,051 respectively for their supply invoices of N524,834,050; N427,904,421; N729,493,834; N826,238,559; N1,282,942,063; N156,778,289; N907,039,625; and N751,002,564.
Other power Gencos that benefitted from the disbursement for January was Omoku which got N665,485,434 for its N831,856,792 supply invoice.
To guarantee Gencosâ€™ continued production of power through timely payment of their bills, the government recently approved the CBNâ€™s N701 billion facility to the NBET. The loan according to the government will cover up to 50 per cent of the Gencosâ€™ obligations for up to two years.
Meanwhile, Fashola, has disclosed that a new policy intervention to protect power investments in the country from the volatilities of her foreign exchange regime would be initiated by the CBN.
He stated at the recent Quarterly Business Forum (QBF) held at the State House that the government and the central bank were in consultation on this policy, adding that it would increase the sectorâ€™s access to foreign exchange, as well as provide some level of predictability on the rates to enable investors plan their investments in the sector.
â€œIn terms of policy interventions we are seeking to ensure that government, through the CBN, develops a foreign exchange policy that will include the power sector and increase access to foreign exchange and make the rates more clear and more predictable to plan how to make investments and deliver on service,â€ Fashola, said in a statement from his media aide, Mr. Hakeem Bello.