October 1, 2023

Global News

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N90bn Monumental Debt Rocks PHCN + Real reason behind unstable power supply

2 min read


Barely two years after President Goodluck Jonathan unveiled his strategies to end inadequate power supply in the country; Nigerians still depend on generators and solar to power their homes. While many could still believe in that prepared speech Mr. President gave audaciously, the hope for stable power supply may have been dashed by the stories emanating from Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) for its inability to settle a debt of N88.7 billion the company owes its suppliers.


Investigation has revealed that Nigeria stands to lose nearly 5000 megawatts as most of the power projects under construction are unlikely to get gas supply because of PHCN’s heavy indebtedness to the suppliers.


Though the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is making concerted efforts by laying massive pipelines through its gas marketing arm, the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC), these efforts would not successfully address the gas challenges because the oil companies are not keen on selling gas to PHCN again.


At the moment, PHCN owes Agip N60 billion for its power plant at Okpai in Delta State which produces 470 megawatts. It also owes Shell N12.48 billion for its power plant which generates 561 megawatts at Afam in Rivers State, while the power utility company also owes NGC N10 billion for 700 million standard cubic of natural gas.


National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) is being owed N6 billion for power supplied from its stations in Sapele in Delta State and Olorunsogo in Ogun State, while the Ibom Power is being owed N300 million for the 90 megawatts generated from its plant at Ikot Abasi in Akwa Ibom State.


As the case stands, PHCN now requires a monthly revenue of at least N22.5 billion to ensure regular settlement of its obligations to power and gas suppliers like Shell, Agip and AES.


Sources noted that the problem is that the Power Holding Company (PHCN) is not paying for gas and the oil companies are not happy about it. PHCN is hiding under the World Bank Partial Guarantee to dodge payments, we gathered.


On some other reasons for unstable power supply in the country, it was also gathered that security agencies are delaying different power projects across the country with the non-clearing of power equipment at the ports by Customs as well as frequent transportation delays at roadblocks mounted by soldiers, while moribund and inadequate transmission facilities are further compounding the energy crisis across the country.

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