GENCOs Sues Federal Government in Abuja


By Ayinde Oluseye

The Power generation companies in the country have dragged the Federal Government before the Federal High Court in Abuja over what they termed discriminatory practices against their interest and that of their gas suppliers.
In their suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/180/2018 before Justice Binta Nyako, the firms accused the Federal Government of conferring preferential treatment on Azura Power West Africa Limited and Accugas Limited at their own expense.
They alleged that government’s discriminatory practices were taking a toll not only on the Nigerian electricity supply industry but also on the power sector as a whole.
The generation firms, which jointly sued the Federal Government, are Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited, Transcorp Power Limited, Egbin Power Plc and North-South Power Company Limited.
They joined as respondents the Federal Government; Central Bank of Nigeria; Minister of Power, Works and Housing; and the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc.
Also joined as respondents in the suit are Azura Power West Africa Limited and Accugas Limited.
The Gencos claimed that despite making sacrifices by continuing to generate electricity for the national grid without getting payment from the NBET, the defendants had treated and intended to continue to treat them, their investors and suppliers unfairly.
They claimed to be facing the threat of going into extinction on account of “huge indebtedness to banks and financiers, who provided the foreign currency-denominated acquisition loans with which the power plants were acquired from the Federal Government during the privatisation exercise in 2012/13.”
The firms alleged that the NBET had consistently defaulted in paying them for the electricity generated and put on the national grid in breach of its contractual obligation.
According to them, the contractual obligation is to the effect that “the Gencos would be paid fully (100 per cent) not later than 45 days of invoice submission, and upon delay in payment, be paid with interest at the agreed rate.”
They claimed that by reason of the failure of the NBET to pay, the firms had in turn been forced to default in meeting their obligations to their lenders, O&M contractors, equipment manufacturers, service providers and other persons and entities engaged by them for the purpose of ensuring the smooth and effectual generation of power in all power plants owned, controlled and/or managed by the Gencos.
Justice Nyako has fixed April 16, 2018 to entertain the suit.