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FG To Pay N97 Billion MDA’s Electricity Debt

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About N97 billion debt owed electricity companies by ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs, will soon be paid by the federal government.

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said this during a meeting with officials of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, on Friday.

He said that the ministry was carrying out a careful verification of the debts in order to ascertain the exact amount, considering that the debt stretches to several years.

The minister also outlawed the procurement of transformers by electricity consumers, maintaining that it remains the duty of distribution companies, Discos.

He also charged operators in the nation’s power sector to improve investments in order to upgrade their networks.

Addressing electricity distribution companies, Fashola said: “You must continue to make distribution asset investments. Private purchase of transformers should stop.

“That is the responsibility of the distribution companies. We still have cases of people buying transformers themselves. This should not be the case.”

He charged the operators to improve customer relationship as well as close the metering gap and educate consumers on energy conservation.

“Since the distribution companies are now owned by private enterprises, you need to make it easy for people to reach you. Let us all understand that the problems we have are not technical. They are manmade,” he noted.

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Meanwhile, the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, says it is seeking investors for its $7.5 billion system expansion agenda geared at attaining 20,000MW by 2022.

A breakdown of the five-year plan shows that the TCN hopes to achieve 6,600MW by the end of 2016; 10,000MW in 2018; 13,000MW in 2020; 16,000MW for 2021 and 20,000MW by 2022.

The nation’s electricity capacity currently stands at 5,300MW.

A draft of the Nigerian Power Sector Investment Opportunities and Guidelines obtained by the media noted that investment in the sector was very attractive owing to its growth potential.

The document, however, lamented the inability of the transmission and distribution companies to effectively discharge their duties.

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