Electricity Featured

Privatisation has exposed power sector weakness –Gencos

Electricity generation companies in the country have said the privatisation of the power sector has exposed the inherent structural weakness in the sector.

The Gencos said they had continued to perform in line with industry agreements despite the challenges plaguing the sector.

The Gencos stated these on Wednesday through their umbrella body while reacting to the call by the Senate for the reversal of the privatisation of the sector.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said on Tuesday that the privatisation of the sector had not been successful.

“We expected efficiency and effectiveness in the power supply. The Discos have no capacity to supply us power. The Gencos have challenges too,” he added.

The Executive Secretary, Association of Power Generation Companies, Dr Joy Ogaji, told our correspondent that the Gencos had increased their capacities.

According to her, available generation capability stood at 8,589 megawatts as of April 2020, while generation averaged 4,099MW.

She said, “As investors, Gencos are worst hit in this electricity market logjam. The Gencos are faced with all sorts of challenges. The high liquidity squeeze in the market is a major setback for generation companies.

“It is on record that generation companies are being owed over N1tn on power generated, supplied and consumed.”

Ogaji said the huge debt burden had reduced their ability to pay gas supplies and meet other obligations, adding that the development “threatens to completely undermine the electricity value chain and its ability to continue to serve customers.”

She said, “The Senate is entitled to their opinion and can freely express it anytime as confirmed by the provisions of our constitution on freedom of expression.

“However, as generating companies, we give ourselves a pass mark on our performance in line with the prevailing industry agreements.

“This can be confirmed from the records from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, the Bureau of Public Enterprises, and the market operator.”

Ogaji noted that Gencos’ increased available generation capability had not translated to corresponding increase in power supply to consumers.

She added, “Consumers are of the opinion that the entire sector has failed.

“We will, however, pray the Senate to look into the issues bedeviling the sector, especially the Gencos, who are ready and willing to generate more and perform our contractual role.”

Total power generation in the country stood at 3,794.4MW as of 6am on Wednesday, according to data from the Nigerian Electricity System Operator.

The President, Electricity Consumers Association of Nigeria, Chijioke James, said the government should carry out a transparent and holistic review of the privatisation rather than reverse it.

He said the consumers would support any legitimate process that would bring about steady and reliable power supply in the country.

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