Electricity blackout all over Nigeria is imminent. According to Reuters, Nigeria’s largest electricity companies have said they will shut down power supplies unless the government pays longstanding bills it owes them and improves gas supplies.
Six power generating companies (Gencos) said they’re in a tight spot. They say they are owed a sum of 156 billion naira ($485 million) by a government agency and that banks were recalling loans made to them.
Nigeria has paid arrears of 186.7 billion naira. The CBN has contributed with a 213 billion naira loan to keep the system afloat and allow the power firms to access credit, but more is needed as the oil price slump pressures Nigeria’s currency.
The firms companies, which include Transcorp’s power subsidiary and Forte Oil’s power unit, said they struggled to repair their networks because imports of spare parts had become too expensive due to naira devaluation.
“In 2013, exchange rate was 150 naira per dollar. Today it is 310. How can we repair, equip, acquire new turbines at this rate of 310 naira per dollar and yet still operate with an old tariff?,” said the companies.
“(A) shutdown is indeed imminent,” they said in a statement on Wednesday.