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FG recovers $64.36m electricity debts from Benin, Niger Republics

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FG recovers $64.36m electricity debts from Benin, Niger Republics

Power generation in Nigeria will suffer marginal reduction due to gradual exit of the rainy season, the Federal Government declared yesterday.

The government also announced the recovery of $64.63 million from international customers in Benin Republic and Republic of Niger. “I am happy to announce that we have recovered $64,630,055 from our international customers in Benin Republic and Republic of Niger.

The Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader, (NBET) will work out the modalities for distribution,” Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, said. Fashola, who spoke at the power sector stakeholders’ meeting in Warri, Delta State, maintained that the ministry “must work now to keep all the gas stations well maintained and operational,” in a bid to make up for the imminent shortfall in the hydro-power generation.

“Now that the rains are coming to an end, we expect some minor, not major reduction in the production from the Hydro, and we must work now to keep all the gas stations well maintained and operational.

“I am sure that we can do this, if there is peace in the gas producing areas and gas supply is not interrupted,” Fashola declared. Fashola said that the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has completed the guidelines for the operation of the rural electrification fund that will help vulnerable groups and communities gain access to funding to support their electricity development programme.

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

“The fund will provide a partial single payment capital subsidy and or 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.

“Those who will be served are the unserved and underserved rural communities,” he said. Giving details of the funds’ disbursement, Fashola said: “What they are likely to get are mini mum amounts of $10,000 (N3.5 million) and maximum amounts of $300,000 (N106 million) or 75% of project cost, whichever is less.

Looking back at what he described as achievement in the power sector under him, Fashola said: “Minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, week by week and month by month, we have not only gained momentum, we are seeing progress that inspires us not to flag, progress that inspires us to continue, because the power problem can be successfully managed by Nigerians.”

He, however, took a swipe at his critics, saying: “Our work is certainly not driven by a quest for acknowledgment; on the contrary, it is driven by our belief in our collective abilities to change what we do not accept.”

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