Egbin Power receives FG’s assurance on debt settlement

The Hon. Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, had assured Egbin power of federal government committment to settle the debt owed the company.

The Minister affirmed that from April, the government will gradually offset the debt owed the company, even as he pointed that the constraints of gas supply and foreign exchange are also being tackled.

He made this known in a visit to the power Plant as part of his strategic measures to strengthen understanding among stakeholders, offer robust support to players, and address the challenges in the sector, with the overall aim of boosting power supply in Nigeria.

“The Federal Government is prioritising paying down on the outstanding debt and I have assured the Board and Management of Egbin Power that, effective April we will start paying as a form of encouragement to continue to have them in operations, ” Adebayo said.

Regarding the constraints encountered by power generation companies in accessing Foreign Exchange, the Minister explained that crucial steps are being taken to prioritize allocation of Forex to the power generation companies.

“Forex sourcing has been a major constraint to effective maintenance of the facility. I have seen what we have on ground here, and the critical need for spares and tools for continuous maintenance. We will liaise with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to prioritize Foreign Exchange allocation to the power sector.

“This will ensure the companies are able to ramp up capacity in terms of output. It is not just peculiar to Egbin Power Plant, it is across all the power generating Plants. They need Forex for them to be able to maintain the turbines, replace tools and spares. This has been a major issue. I am going to take steps to ensure I liaise with the CBN to see how they can prioritize Forex allocation to the power generating companies,” the Minister said.

While stressing on the impact of the debt and gas constraints on the Plant, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Egbin Power, Mokhtar Bounour said: “One of the major challenges we are facing is gas constraint, which is not allowing us to run the full capacity of the Plant. It requires a lot of investment efforts to keep the units running and safe.

“The other issue is the accumulated debt which the Minister discussed with us. On our part we are adequately ensuring the maintenance, availability of the Plant and its efficiency. We are investing a lot to get these units to run optimally. This requires millions of dollars in investment,” Bounour explained.

He commended the Minister for his commitment to address the challenges. “We highlighted the challenges we are facing, and the Federal Government, through the Minister of Power, has promised to start solving them gradually so we can start seeing improvements in the near future. We hope that the liquidity challenge will be solved soon as the Minister has promised,” Bounour added.

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