Chiedu Ugbo, the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), has revealed that the outstanding debts within Nigeria’s power system involving the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) currently range between N150 billion and N180 billion.
Ugbo highlighted the significant indebtedness of the market to NDPHC, amounting to hundreds of billions, with unpaid invoices reaching N190 billion as of May. He noted that NDPHC faces challenges as it is not compensated for availability but only for dispatched energy, resulting in substantial losses since the declaration of the Transitional Electricity Market in 2015. This has led to the government being deprived of revenue as high as N3 trillion.
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NDPHC Still Committed
During a media roundtable in Lagos on Monday, Ugbo assured that despite these financial challenges, NDPHC remains committed to the Light Up Nigeria Project. He acknowledged that the company itself is in debt to various entities in the power value chain, including gas producers.
Speaking about the progress of the Light Up Project, Ugbo mentioned ongoing initiatives, such as supplying Ota Industrial Clusters through the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC). He also noted that several other projects are underway in collaboration with different Distribution Companies (DisCos).
On a different note, Ugbo clarified that the stake in 10 Integrated Power Plants (NIPPs) remains stagnant due to the indecision of the owners about selling the business. He emphasized that NDPHC is merely a caretaker and will act based on any decision made by the owners of the business, which are the federal and state governments.
In other news, Folashodun Shonubi, the acting governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has assured that the backlog of unmet foreign exchange demand, known as the “dollar backlog,” will be cleared within the next one or two weeks. Shonubi made this statement during a press conference held in Lagos on Monday.