The outcome of the recent lawsuit that was filled against the Federal Government by power generation companies will determine the November 2017 payment, which the Gencos are meant to get from the N701bn Payment Assurance Guarantee, the Central Bank of Nigeria has said.
Earlier in March this year, some power generating firms had dragged the government before the Federal High Court in Abuja over what they termed discriminatory practices against their interests and those of gas suppliers.
The firms also accused the Federal Government of conferring preferential treatment on Azura Power West Africa Limited and Accugas Limited at their own expense.
On March 12, the Federal Government alleged that the firms were planning to disrupt the supply of electricity across the country, an intention that it noted suggested blackmail against it.
Reacting to the claims filed against the Federal Government by the Gencos, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, had argued that although the move was consistent with the rule of law, the power firms “must be ready to face scrutiny in the court of public opinion.”
Fashola had said the power firms must explain in the public court whether they went to court before the government approved the N701bn PAG to pay their monthly bills or not.
He stated, “They must disclose to this court that they owed debts from the pre-Buhari era, because their income had reduced to less than 50 per cent. They must disclose to this court that they now receive about 80 per cent income and that this government is now paying them revenues collected from international customers from the Republics of Benin, Niger and Togo in dollars, as against the naira payment they used to receive.
“They must tell the court of public opinion that the reason for going to court is because the government is making 100 per cent payment to a new Genco, which has a different contract with a Partial Risk Guarantee, which they do not have. They must also disclose to the court that they held a meeting with the government and tabled their demands, which the government promised to look into one week before they went to court.”
But the face-off between the power producers and the government seems not to be dying down, going by the position of the CBN that the pending lawsuit will determine the November 2017 payment to the Gencos.
It was gathered that most Gencos had not received payment from the Federal Government’s PAG scheme since November last year.
The CBN’s declaration was contained in the minutes of the 25th monthly meeting of stakeholders in the power sector, which was obtained by our correspondent in Abuja on Sunday, as operators prepare for the next sectoral meeting holding today (Monday).
The 25th meeting was chaired by Fashola and in the minutes, an assistant director at the CBN told participants that the payment to the Gencos would be determined by the outcome of the lawsuit.