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Kola Adesina 'Debts, militants activities and forex are hampering Egbin plant,' Chairman

Adesina disclosed further that the power station currently suffers shortage of natural gas as a result of the renewed attacks on gas pipelines in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria.

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Kola Adesina, the Chairman, Egbin Power Station, has said that the management of Sahara Energy is facing serious challenges as a result of the over N100 billion debt customers owe Distribution Companies and the activities of militants in Niger Delta.

It was gathered that the bulk of these huge debts are money DISCOs are to pay the generation companies, the gas companies and others in the value chain of the power sector.

According to Adesina,"the power generation companies in Nigeria are owed an estimated ₦100 billion in accumulated debts for power generated from November 1, 2013 till dat. Of this figure, Egbin is owed ₦44 billion for power generated from December 2015 to date and another ₦22 billion in past debts, bringing the total amount to ₦66 billion."

'These huge debts owed generation companies, has put them in a cash liquidity crisis that has reduced their ability to pay gas supplies, and hence threatens to completely undermine the Electricity value chain and its ability to continue to serve customers,' lamented Adesina.

Adesina also disclosed that beneath the giant strides of the Egbin Power State lies the challenges and struggle to function properly.

Adesina disclosed further that the power station currently suffers shortage of natural gas as a result of the renewed attacks on gas pipelines in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria.

"The situation is worsened by renewed militancy in the creeks of the Niger Delta region, where oil and gas pipelines are being blown up on regular basis. This is a more compelling reason why the federal government must get its acts right in ensuring that peace returns to the region," he said.

Dallas Peavey Jr., Chief Executive Officer of the Egbin power station laments the persistent shortage of gas supply despite the huge investment the owners have made to boost the capacity of the power plant.

Peavey said this has heightened continuing challenges in ending daily blackout in the country since private investors took over the station.

He further said that the company is at present grappling with economic woes occasioned by difficulties in accessing foreign exchange.

He said at the time of the acquisition of the assets by the new investors, the exchange rate was N198 to the dollar and having raised capital from banks, the investors are now faced with the harsh reality of paying back in time of economic down turn.

However, the Egbin plant chairman gave recommendations on what to be done by the Federal Government to aid the investors in the power sector.

'One, Sector funding. Here, the Egbin Power Plc. A full implementation of cost reflective tariffs, otherwise subsidies be provided to cover shortfall; immediate payment of all MDAs’ debt, full funding of TCN or it should be concessioned to ensure improvement in grid stability and easy access to fund by investors,' he began.

Adesina also recommended regulating reforms saying 'the regulator should be consistent and fair, respect for contracts legally consummated, legislative measures – including initiatives like mobile courts, to discourage power theft.'

Already, government may have to summon an urgent meeting of all stakeholders in the power sector from which urgent measures to light up Nigeria will be arrived at and immediately executed to the letter.

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