Nigeria Recovers $64.6 Million Electricity Debt

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Yemisi Izuora

The Federal Government has recovered $64.6 million electricity debt from its international customers including Benin and Niger Republic.

According to the minister of power, works and housing, Babatunde Fashola, the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET) would work out modalities for distributing the funds to the value chain operators.

The Minister who made the disclosure at the 21st monthly power sector meeting in Asaba, Delta state, said that the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) had completed guidelines for the operation of the rural electrification fund.

Noting that the fund will support vulnerable groups and communities to gain access to funding to support their electricity development programme.

“By way of explanation, 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 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.

“What they are likely to get are minimum amounts of N3.5m and maximum amounts of N106m or 75 per cent of project cost whichever is less,” he said.

Fashola said that REA will publish details of the guidelines and eligibility, media added.

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

The Minister added that the sector is experiencing other challenges that must be collectively addressed.

On estimated billing and metering, he explained that government and sector operators were anxiously awaiting for the regulation from NERC to open up meter supply business.

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