Fashola fails to broker peace in Gencos-Discos row over N100.5bn unsettled bill
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Fashola fails to broker peace in Gencos-Discos row over N100.5bn unsettled bill

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Despite the threat by the Electricity Generation Companies (GenCos) to stop energy supply to the Electricity Distribution Companies (Discos), the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babantude Fashola, has failed to broker the needed peace.

An aide to the Minister who spoke under condition of anonymity said the intervention is ongoing, but that the two warring groups cannot be compelled to embrace peace.

“There is a limit to which the government could intervene in the differences between the two companies knowing that the sector has been fully privatized,” he said.

The Gencos had given the discos up to the second week of April, 2017 to pay up all their outstanding N100.5 billion debts owed them, failure of which the entire country may suffer total darkness, yet to be experienced in its history.

Commercial manager of Retech Nigeria Limited, Mr. Festus Elanduru, said the Gencos have been pushed to the wall over the debt.

“We borrowed so much from foreign creditors to have our system working, but the discos are not helping us, given their contiguous excuse that government and other electricity consumers are declining to pay for power consumed because of no billing method in place.

“At a time we agreed with them to approach the National Assembly for a way out, we have also bent more backwards by extending the debts beyond what business setting could, but nothing shows that they are ready to help us”, Elanduru said.

Read also: Fashola reveals how FG plans to remove Nigeria from recession

He said the last time the Discos paid for power received was in November 2016, a situation that had left the Gencos with huge unsettled invoices.

But refuting the allegation of not paying for power received the spokesperson of the coalition of the Discos, Ms Henrietta Ighomrore, said that Gencos often create the impression to the public that every power they generate are to be paid for by the distribution outfits.

“We pay for power that has been pushed through the national grid, but most times the generated powers are never sent to us, still the Gencos would claim the contrary.

“They are also not facing the reality that as at January 2017, government agencies and departments owe us more than N60 billion, being electricity consumed but without any sign that they would be paid for,” she stated.

But an analyst said one of the reasons that some electricity consumers in Nigeria are not forthcoming in payment of bills is the failure of the discos to put in place a proper billing system.

 

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