By Yunus Yusuf
Lagos – Mr Dallas Peavey, the Chief Executive Officer, Egbin Power Plc, has said that the company is highly constrained by more than N86 billion debt owed it by the Federal Government.
Peavey made the fact known in Lagos on Saturday during the company’s scholarship award programme to schools within Ijede community in Lagos State.
He appealed to government to pay up the debt to enable it to carry out its operations.
He also said gas supply had been a major challenge to power generation .
“We have a total generation output of 1,320MW but currently we are generating just 425MW which is 30 per cent of what we should be generating,’’ Peavey said.
He said the company was considering other sources of power generation that would complement gas, such as Low Pour Fuel Oil, one of the products in the fractional distillation of crude oil.
According to him, right now the major challenge confronting the plant is gas and the company does not know what the future has for the power station.
“ Another big problem is that of over N86 billion being owed by Federal Government on energy produced to the national grid in the last six months.
“We only got 16 per cent of the total bills out of the total money on energy generated to the national grid.
“ The amount is the money owed by government through the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) to produce power to the grid by generating companies,’’ he said.
According to Peavey, generating companies are highly constrained by the debt burden because it is frustrating power development plans.
“We are highly constrained by the lack of payment for services rendered.
“ No matter how much broad-minded you are and no matter the desire to serve your nation, if services are not paid for, the momentum to continue to serve will not be sustained.
“Industry operators are in dire need of funds as most of the monies used in acquiring the power assets and other post-privatisation investments came from the banks.
“But banks do not want to hear about any delays or the reasons for such delays. When the amount of the debt payment is due, they simply call for their money,” he said.
Peavey said that the company had spent N 760 million in the last three years on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to communities within its area of operation.
He said that the company also spent over N 120 million to offer scholarships to indigent pupils within the community of Ijede where it was operating.
Peavey said, “we put together the education scholarship programme to students in the communities to contribute part of our quota to their development.
“It is part of our CSR, which takes care of over 25 pupils’ schools fees, textbooks and other required amenities for four years.’’
NAN learnt that NBET owes the power companies various sums, N28.29 billion owed Transcorp Ughelli Power Limited, and N9.66 billion owed Shiroro Power Station.
Other debts are Geregu Power Plc N7.98 billion, Kainji/Jebba Power Station, N20.94 billion, and Sapele Power Plc, N9.9 billion. (NAN)
(Edited By Aregbesola Isaac/Chukwudi Ekezie)