Power distribution companies in the country have failed to pay a total of N76.19bn to the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc for electricity sold to them in the first two months of this year.

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The government-owned NBET procures 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.

The bulk trader noted that some of the Discos had yet to meet up with the minimum remittance approved by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.

The 11 Discos were given a total invoice of N104.14bn for the energy received in the two months but only paid N27.95bn to NBET, data obtained from the bulk trader showed.

Yola Electricity Distribution Company, which was returned to the Federal Government by the core investor in 2015, failed to make any remittance in January. It paid N234.49m in February, representing 12 per cent of the N1.95bn invoice it received from NBET.

On July 2015, the Federal Government took over Yola Electricity Distribution Company following the exit of the core investor after it declared a force majeure, citing insecurity in the North-East region of the country.

Abuja Disco remitted N2.54bn (40 per cent) and N2.4bn (37 per cent) in January and February respectively, while Benin Disco paid N1.23bn (27 per cent) and N1.32bn (28 per cent).

Eko Disco remitted N2.52bn (41 per cent) and N2.18bn (36 per cent) in January and February respectively, while Enugu Disco paid N1.05bn (23 per cent) and N909m (20 per cent).

Ibadan Disco paid N1.95bn (27 per cent) and N1.69bn (25 per cent) in January and February respectively, while Ikeja paid N3.58bn (46 per cent) and N3.07bn (40 per cent).

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Jos Disco remitted N242.74m (nine per cent) and N202.79m (seven per cent) in January and February respectively, while Kaduna, which paid N303.81m (nine per cent) in January, did not remit any amount in February.

Port Harcourt Disco paid N772.38m (22 per cent) and N543.19m (15 per cent) in January and February, while Kano Disco remitted N700m (19 per cent) and N500m (14 per cent).

NERC, in its latest quarterly report, said the financial viability of the Nigerian electricity supply industry remained a major challenge threatening its sustainability.

It said, “The liquidity challenge is partly due to the non-implementation of cost-reflective tariffs, high technical and commercial losses exacerbated by energy theft and consumers’ apathy to payments under the widely prevailing practise of estimated billing.”

The regulator added that the severity of the liquidity challenge in the Nigerian electricity supply industry was reflected in the less than 50 per cent settlement rate of the energy invoice issued by NBET.