By Doosuur Iwambe
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has said that at least two international customers have paid Nigeria the sum of $6.6 million out of the $13 million debt owed for electricity supply.
Nigeria under an international treaty sells electricity to neighbouring countries like Benin Republic, Togo and Niger.
This was contained in the regulator’s 2020 first-quarter report. The report revealed that Niger and Benin Republic paid $5.27 million and $1.39 million, respectively, out of $13.22 million on the invoice issued to them for electricity supply from January to March.
“The financial viability and commercial performance of the industry continued to be a major challenge with a decline in the first quarter of 2020,” the NERC said.
“During the quarter under review, the total billing to and collection from electricity consumers by all the 11 DisCos stood at $186.82billion and $114.29billion respectively.
These denote 78.38% and 61.18% billing and collection efficiency respectively, indicating 4.21% and 8.26% point’s decreases respectively when compared with the fourth quarter of 2019.
“The level of collection efficiency during the quarter under review indicates that as much as $3.88 out of every $10 worth of energy sold during the first quarter of 2020 remained uncollected from consumers.
“During the quarter under review, the special customers (Ajaokuta Steel Co. Ltd and its environs) did not make any payment in respect of the $0.27billion and $0.05billion invoices issued by NBET and MO respectively.
“A total of $4.05billion (US$13.22million) invoices were issued by MO to international customers (i.e., Societe Nigerienne d’electricite – NIGELEC, Societe Beninoise d’Energie Electrique – SBEE, and Compagnie Energie Electrique du Togo – CEET).
“During the quarter, NIGELEC made a payment of $1.61billion (US$5.27million) as part of its outstanding bills for the energy received from NBET and services rendered by MO.
Similarly, SBEE paid $0.43bilion (US$1.39million) in respect of services received from MO.” In June, the NERC said the international customers owed Nigeria N32.8 billion in electricity bills.