Nigeria recovers over $64m electricity debts from Benin, Niger Republics - Minister

Nigeria recovers over $64m electricity debts from Benin, Niger Republics - Minister

Nigeria recovers over $64m electricity debts from Benin, Niger Republics - Minister

Nigeria's Federal Government has recovered $64.6 million electricity debt from its global customers including Benin and Niger Republic.

The minister, however, noted that there were other challenges that the power sector must overcome together, stressing that estimated billing and inadequate metering were among the constraints facing the industry.

The Nigerian government has successfully recovered about $65 million owed to the country by Republic of Niger and Republic of Benin for electricity supplied to the two countries.

The minister also announced that Rural Electrification Agency (REA) had completed guidelines for the operation of the rural electrification fund.

According to him, the Rural Electrification Fund was created by Section 88 of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA) of 2005 to promote support and provide rural electrification access.

The minister said the fund will provide a partial single payment capital subsidy and technical assistance to eligible private rural power developers, NGOs or communities to invest in options such as hybrid mini grids or solar home systems to scale up rural access to electricity. "(N106m) or 75% of project cost, whichever is less", he said, adding that REA will publish details of guidelines and eligibility in due course.

These, he said, were only headline items of developments that characterised the progress the government was making month after month, especially since March 2017.

He listed the recent achievements in the franchise areas of the Benin DisCo to include the newly completed Asaba main 2x15MVA injection substation commissioned on Monday.

During the meeting, the federal government had requested that both countries pay their outstanding bills to allow electricity companies keep up with their supply obligation to them.

"The line also raised the number of circuits from Onitsha to Benin to three".

The Nation reports that the minster thanked well-meaning Nigerians who acknowledged that their experience with power supply had improved, adding that their honesty-inspired government and the operators to continue the improvement.

The federal government had in recent times repeatedly called on neigbouring West African countries that are its global customers to endeavour to pay up their bills to enable Nigeria invest more in power and stabilise supply at local as well as worldwide levels.

He however urged the parties to note that the agreements will reach on meter supply will be subject to the regulation that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is about to present.

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