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N400bn Debt: Nigerians Face Possible Blackout

Raji Fashola

Power generation and distribution companies in Nigeria have hinted at a possible blackout across the country due to over N400bn debt that is affecting their operations.

While GENCOs’ debt is put at over N300bn, DISCOs have complained of being owed over N100bn by customers.

With such a huge debt burden, the power firms said they lack the funding required for their operations, including the purchase of equipment and spare parts.

The Executive Secretary, Association of Power Generation Companies, Dr. Joy Ogaji, said, “The debt is over N300bn that GENCOs are being owed. If the situation is not checked, there will be blackout. It is so imminent that I don’t know if most of the generation we are having now can go beyond Christmas if the payment problem is not solved. We can’t pay contractors; most of the machines are packing up.”

The President of Association of Small Businesses of Nigeria, Mr. Femi Egbesola, who demanded stable power supply, has said a blackout would lead to the closure of small businesses.

However, a Lagos-based manufacturer-cum-economist, Mr. Akeem Babajide, said the government should urgently pay the debts it owed the GENCOs and DISCOs to avoid a blackout.

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