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Power Sector Debts Hit N809bn

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The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola
  • Power Sector Debts Hit N809bn

The indebtedness to Nigeria’s power sector as a whole is worth N809bn, industry operators have revealed.

According to the chief executive officers and senior management members of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company; Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors, an umbrella body of the power distribution companies; Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission; gas producers; as well as power generation companies, the power sector may collapse soon if nothing serious is done to clear the debt.

The operators spoke at the October Power Dialogue organised by Nextier Power, an electricity advisory firm, in Abuja on Thursday.

This is coming as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, NDPHC, Mr. ChieduUgbo, disclosed that the company was being owed over N105bn as of August 2016.

Similarly, the Chief Executive Officer, ANED, Mr. AzuObiaya, stated that the debt owed the power distribution companies by private consumers, businesses and government ministries, departments and agencies post-privatisation was over N568bn, adding that the sector as a whole was struggling with a revenue shortfall of over N809bn.

Operators at the dialogue noted that the debt might be over N1tn if the other arms of the sector like the power generation companies, Transmission Company of Nigeria, Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company Plc and gas producers compute the figures they were being owed by the power market.

On the operations and indebtedness to the NDPHC, Ugbo stated that eight of the 10 power generating plants being managed by the company were supplying about 1,700 megawatts of electricity to the national grid, as against a total capacity of 4,774MW.

He attributed the meagre performance of the plants to gas or System Operator constraints, and noted that the total energy invoiced by the eight operational NDPHC plants since they started functioning amounted to about N235bn.

“But out of this amount as of August 2016, which is the month with the latest invoice, we are owed about N105bn. Now, this is not imaginary but is based on invoices as settled by the entity that has the statutory responsibility to do that, which is the Market Operator,” Ugbo said.

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Economy

NLNG Boosts Cooking Gas Production to 1.5 Million Metric Tonnes Annually

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cooking gas cylinder

Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) has announced a significant milestone in its operations, boosting its annual production of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), commonly known as cooking gas, to over 1.5 million metric tonnes.

This surge in production underscores NLNG’s commitment to meeting the rising demand for clean cooking energy in Nigeria.

The entirety of NLNG’s 1.5 million tonnes production is now being sold domestically within Nigeria.

Moreover, the company has initiated a landmark shift by starting to supply LPG in naira, moving away from the traditional practice of trading in United States dollars.

This move aligns with calls from stakeholders in the oil and power sectors advocating for naira transactions, especially amidst the challenges posed by currency fluctuations.

During a panel session at the 7th Nigeria International Energy Summit in Abuja, NLNG’s General Manager of Finance, Fatima Adanan, highlighted the company’s dedication to enhancing LPG penetration across the country.

Adanan emphasized NLNG’s vision to make Nigeria a better place by promoting the use of cleaner energy sources like gas.

While NLNG’s production surge is commendable, Adanan acknowledged that Nigeria’s LPG requirements surpass the current output, necessitating imports to bridge the gap.

However, NLNG remains committed to expanding its production capacity to meet the nation’s energy needs and drive increased adoption of LPG as a cleaner cooking fuel.

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Economy

CBN Raises Benchmark Interest Rate by 400 Basis Points to 22.75%

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Dr. Olayemi Michael Cardoso

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has raised the benchmark interest rate by 400 basis points to a record 22.75%.

The decision made by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) comes amidst rising inflationary pressures and growing uncertainty in Africa’s largest economy.

Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 29.90% in January 2024, the highest in over two decades while the nation’s unemployment rate quickened to 5% in the third quarter of 2023. Suggesting that the rising costs have continued to drag on both new job creation and the existing ones.

This coupled with a series of policy adjustments implemented by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has plunged economic productivity and eroded consumer spending as citizens grapple with high fuel prices, electricity tariffs, a record-high foreign exchange rate, and insecurities.

Therefore, it is surprising that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) led by the CBN will further increase borrowing costs by 400 basis points at a time when job creation is paramount.

While the economy reportedly grew by 3.46% in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023 on the back of robust performance of the services sector, this growth is yet to crystalise as businesses and citizens have taken to the street protest against the harsh economic situation.

Economic experts have started questioning the data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) given its lack of correlation between the data and economic reality.

 

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Economy

President Tinubu Unveils Geometric Power Plant in Aba After 20-Year Wait

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Geometric Power Plant

After two decades of anticipation, President Bola Tinubu, through his representative Vice President Kashim Shettima, inaugurated the long-awaited Geometric Power Plant in Aba, a significant milestone in the city’s quest for reliable electricity supply.

The event, which also saw the commissioning of three rehabilitated roads by Abia State Governor Alex Otti, symbolizes the culmination of years of perseverance and determination to transform Aba’s power landscape.

Addressing the audience, Vice President Shettima hailed the project as a testament to the power of visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to progress.

He said the Geometric Power Plant exemplifies the transformative impact of strategic infrastructure investments on local communities.

Governor Otti echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing the importance of the power project in positioning Aba as a hub for national and international business ventures.

He commended the efforts of Geometric Power Limited while urging them to uphold transparency and avoid exploiting consumers.

The inauguration of the Geometric Power Plant comes amidst growing concerns over Nigeria’s power infrastructure and the need for sustainable solutions to address electricity shortages.

The project, with a capacity of 188MW, holds promise for significant improvements in power supply across Abia State, benefitting nine out of seventeen local government areas.

The Managing Director of Geometric Power Limited, Ben Caven, underscored the scale of investment involved, totaling $800 million.

He highlighted the comprehensive nature of the project, which includes the installation of new power substations and a 27km natural gas pipeline, signaling a comprehensive approach to enhancing Aba’s energy infrastructure.

In conclusion, the inauguration of the Geometric Power Plant represents a transformative moment for Aba, offering renewed hope for economic growth and prosperity powered by reliable electricity supply.

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