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Electricity distribution firms have faulted alleged plans by the Federal Government to escrow and centralize their revenue accounts over the poor market performance on their monthly remittances.
The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) yesterday said such move would be a nationalization of the 11 Distribution Companies (DisCos), privatized three years ago.
The Daily Trust reported on Monday that the DisCos owe N107 billion for services provided by six public owned service providers in 2016. One of the providers, the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) in its series of publications said the 11 firms paid far less than 40 percent of their monthly energy invoices last year.
Mr Moshood Saleeman, the Executive Managing Director of the Market Operator (MO), an arm of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) in late 2016 told our reporter at a market participants’ workshop in Abuja that if the poor collection and payment level continued, the DisCos’ revenue accounts might be escrowed to guarantee more power generation.
He said: “The remittance we get from the DisCos is about 30 percent and that is not good enough. It is not too impressive. We are talking about less than 30 percent, we believe if we can do higher than that it will be better for the industry.”
Mr. Saleeman said although the Transitional Electricity Market (TEM) is not fully enforced, yet as the privatized firms are still growing, “The signal we are giving is that if they don’t comply, we will be forced to enforce the penalties for security deposits and even escrow the accounts of DisCos concerned.”