The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) says international customers owe Nigeria N32.8 billion in electricity bills.
Nigeria sells electricity to neighbouring countries like Benin Republic, Togo and Niger.
According to the regulator’s quarterly reports, Benin Republic and Niger were issued N42.4 billion invoice for the electricity purchased from Nigeria in 2019.
The Beninois Electricity Community (CEB) and Nigerien Electricity Society (NIGELEC) did not make any payment for the first, second and third quarters of the year. They only paid N9.6 billion in the fourth quarter.
“In the same quarter, the invoices issued to the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (designated as a special customer) and international customers (CEB/SAKETE and NIGELEC) were ₦300million and ₦12.402billion respectively,” NERC said.
“However, only payment of US$31.5million (~₦9.618billion) was received from the international customers as part payment of their total outstanding debts. The Nigerian government has continued to engage governments of neighbouring countries benefitting from the export supply to ensure timely payments for the electricity purchased from Nigeria.
“The challenge of poor remittance has remained a serious concern to the Commission as it is one of the main causes of the liquidity crisis facing the Nigerian electricity supply industry.
“Low remittance adversely affects the ability of NBET to honour its financial obligations to GenCos while service providers (TSP, MO and NERC) struggle with the paucity of funds impacting their capacity to perform their statutory obligations.
“The severity of the liquidity challenge in NESI was reflected in the settlement rates of the energy invoices issued by NBET and MO to each of the DisCos as highlighted above, as well as the nonpayment by the special and international customers.”
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