DisCos receive N156.7bn invoice in 2020 Q1,remits N33.8bn to NBET ― Report
• NERC blames low remittances on COVID-19 lockdown
The eleven electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) in 2020 first quarter received a N156.7billion invoice from the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) but remitted the only N33.8billion, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has revealed.
It blamed the low market remittances on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown during the period especially in March 2020.
The Commission in its 2020 first-quarter report uploaded via its website stated that the payment cycle for March invoices fell within the period of the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic stating that the resultant macroeconomic
impact of the policies to curtailing its spread in Nigeria was a contributory factor.
According to the report, the individual remittance performance indicated that only Jos and Enugu DisCos recorded a slight increase in their remittance to NBET in the period under review compared to 2019 fourth quarter.
Also, out of a total of N28.32billion Market Operator invoice issued to the DisCos, N26.36billion was remitted, accounting for about 93 per cent remittance.
Similarly, Ikeja DisCo, though underperformed in its remittance to MO as compared to 2019/Q4, recorded the highest remittance rate of 43.92 per cent, while Kaduna DisCo recorded the lowest remittance rate of 14.16 per cent during the same period.
Also, the remittance performance to NBET in 2020 Q1 decreased by 6 per cent.
While blaming the menace on the pandemic, the report read: “The Commission notes with concern the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on collection efficiency, DisCos’ remittance to the market and its attendant impact on the liquidity challenges in the NESI.
“As highlighted in the preceding quarters, low remittance adversely affects the ability of NBET to honour its financial obligations to GenCos while service providers struggle with the paucity of funds impacting their capacity to perform their statutory roles.”
Also, it said during the quarter under review, the special customers (Ajaokuta Steel Co. Ltd and its environs) did not make any payment in respect of the N0.27billion and N0.05billion invoices issued by NBET and MO respectively.
It said a total of N4.05billion (US$13.22million) invoices were issued by MO to international customers (i.e., Societe Nigerienned’electricite – NIGELEC, Societe Beninoise d’Energie Electrique – SBEE and Compagnie Energie Electrique du Togo – CEET).
The Commission said while NIGELEC made a payment of N1.61billion (US$5.27million) as part of its outstanding bills for the energy received from NBET and services rendered by MO, SBEE paid N0.43bilion (US$1.39million) in respect of services received from MO.