The Association of Power Generation Companies, APGC, has said the federal government’s plan to monitor collection of electricity payment will ultimately intensify transparency in handling of finances accrued to the nation’s power sector.
The Executive Secretary of APGC, Joy Ogaji, said this at a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday.
Mrs. Ogaji said it was important that the government monitor the payment of electricity by consumers, given the poor remittance of market funds by the Distribution Companies (DisCos).
The need to monitor the flow of market funds has become necessary as this will enable transparency in the market and also give the regulator the ability to identify issues that will progress the sector, she said.
“The poor remittance of market funds by the DisCos has prevented the rest of electricity value-chain from meeting up with their operations and also service their liabilities which includes gas payment.
“If you claim electricity consumers are not paying, let us see the payment transparently.
“If DisCos claim that they are not collecting enough, then they should open their books to make it plain for all to see and confirm their story; he who asserts must prove.
“The move by the regulator to bring transparency in the market and the move to declare eligible customers would bring about better performance in the electricity value chain.
“It will lead to a rise in sustainable cash flow for all market participants and reduce tariffs due to competitiveness.”
She said that the stance of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, and the federal government on centralising and monitoring the collection of electricity payment would send positive and promising signals to potential investors.
According to her, the plan will also motivate already licensed generation companies to commence the construction of their generation plants to expand electricity generation.
The Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) had repeatedly published that the DisCos remitted only 30 per cent of their monthly energy invoice in 2016.
The Market Operator(MO), an arm of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), had pointed out that if poor collection by the DisCos continued, their account might be escrowed.
DISCOs had also rejected the government option of centralising their revenue accounts, saying it amounted to nationalisation of the already privatised power sector in the country.
Mrs. Ogaji, however, said that the nation’s electricity sector was a value-chain that needed to be remunerated as applicable, covering the cost of generation, transmission and distribution.
She said that Generation Companies (GenCos) were entitled to 60 per cent of the market remittance, transmission 11 per cent, while distribution would get 25 per cent.
According to her, the remaining 4 per cent is meant for the NERC and NBET.
She said the revenue collected by the DisCos were not their personal monies, but for the entire chain, hence the need to support centralisation and monitoring of the funds.