Babatunde Fashola, minister of works, power and housing, says Niger Republic and Benin Republic have paid $64.6 million from the $115.91 million owed for electricity supply.
The minister made this known at the 21st edition of the monthly power sector operators forum in Asaba, Delta, adding that Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) would soon commence disbursements of the recovered funds to beneficiaries.
“To those of you businessmen, I have good news for you. We have recovered payments from power that we sold to Benin and Niger Republics, people wonder why we sell power to them but it is a product of treaties and agreements and they also help our own economy,” he said.
“So, we have a total of $64.630,055.00 million, that had been recovered, and NBET will work out the modalities for its distribution and hopefully by next month you should be able to report that you have received alert.”
The payment is the result of a meeting between Nigeria and Communauté Électrique du Bénin (CEB), an international electricity firm co-owned by the governments of Bénin and Togo, and NIGELEC of Niger Republic.
During the meeting, the federal government had requested that both countries pay their outstanding bills to allow electricity companies keep up with their supply obligation to them.
Nigeria supplies power to both countries under an international treaty through the NBET and Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
Fashola said power experience in the country is improving even though critics are reluctant to admit it.
“Today, not even your worst critics can deny that his experience is improving, even if he may be reluctant to acknowledge it, which is his prerogative,” he said.
“We thank well-meaning Nigerians who are gracious to acknowledge that their experience has improved and who ask us to do more. Your honesty inspires us to continue.
“The progress we have made this year is as a result of the hard work that all of us here have put in, it is also due to the fact that we have had peace in the oil and gas producing areas of the country, and that has led to improvements in gas supplies and essentially more output from the gas power stations. It also means that for the first time in a long time, the gas and hydro stations combined together, it has not happened in a long time, but this time, we had a fair balance.
“But the rains are going, and this is the time to prove our mettle to ensure that we maintain the peace in the Niger Delta and maintain our supplies of gas. I know that the capacity we have will be enough to pull us through to the next rainy season.”