The Federal Government, yesterday, reconstituted the Board of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) and charged the members to explore all options of de-risking the power sector for value addition to the country.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, while inaugurating the board, said: “The role of NBET in the stabilisation of the power sector cannot be overemphasized, as it plays a key role in the generation of market confidence through well-negotiated and well aligned contracts with fair risk allocation that protects market participants from credit and systemic risks.
Mrs. Zainab said, “NBET stands as a de-risking agent in the power industry, as it acts as a credit worthy off-taker of power procured from GenCos in the absence of bilateral contracts between GenCos and DisCos.”
The minister, who is the chairman of the board, said the reconstitution of the board took consideration of the current stage of evolution of the restructured electricity sector, the complexities the sector currently faced, multi-disciplinary skills of prospective board members, especially in finance and investment, electricity generation, system operations of deregulated electricity markets, administrative law, economic regulation of network utilities, among other factors.
She urged the members to bring their skills and experiences to bear in the critical assignment of improving power supply in the country.
According to her, it is important that NBET becomes the defensive wall against potential payment defaults until GenCos and DisCos are able to enter into power purchase agreements on bilateral basis.
GenCos seek payment of debts
The Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC) has asked the Federal Government to immediately clear all legacy power generation debts and lauded NBET for the improvement in debt repayment for their generated energy.
APGC, which is the umbrella body for GenCos, in a statement issued by its Executive Secretary, Dr. Joy Ogaji, also confirmed the appointment of Mr. Omatseyin Ayida as its Board of Trustees (BoT) chairman at its third Annual General Meeting (AGM) recently.
Ayida, who represents Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited (MESL) on the board, takes over from Mr. Emmanuel Nnorom, the representative of Transcorp Power Limited, after serving as chairman for four years.
In his valedictory remarks, Nnorom demanded for immediate payment of legacy debts owed member-companies in order to grow the power sector and improve electricity supply nationwide.
He said: “As an association, there are immediate challenges we must tackle. For instance, we appreciate the recent improvement in payment by NBET of money owed us and ask that such improvement remains consistent while other outstanding legacy debt equally owed our members be paid to enable them meet funding obligations critical to their ability to stay operational.”
The new board chairman promised to build on his predecessors successes and maintain “members’ commitment to supporting Nigeria’s development by generating much-needed power for the country.”
He called on the appropriate authorities and stakeholders to ensure improvements in the transmission and distribution infrastructure to guarantee improved power supply.