The Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL) has been issued a closure notice for non-compliance with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) market regulations.
TCN, in a statement released on Wednesday through market manager Edmund Eje, revealed that ASCL has accumulated debt of N33.71 billion as of November 2023.
It further noted that ASCL's outstanding debt includes N30,849,749,981.01 for energy and capacity supplied by Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading PLC (NBET), as well as N2,221,252,148.48 owed to service providers.
The TCN claimed to have previously notified ASCL of its non-compliance with market rules on March 20, 2023 and requested corrective action within a specified period. This report was published in three national newspapers, namely The Nation, Daily Sun and This Day.
Despite the intervention of the Minister of Power, as reported by TCN, enforcement actions were temporarily halted to allow ASCL to address its defaults.
However, the TCN regretted that the problem of non-compliance by the ASCL still persists.
“To avoid disconnection, ASCL is required to settle all outstanding invoices and provide an adequate “bank guarantee of N70,177,727.39 for MO's invoice and N320,000,000.00 for NBET's invoice, within fourteen (14) days from the date of this notice. ”.
“Failure to rectify these deficiencies within the specified period will result in the disconnection of the ASCL network from the National Grid, in accordance with section 45 of the Market Rules,” TCN said.
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The statement added: “Should the defaults remain unresolved after 30 working days of disconnection, the market operator will proceed with terminating ASCL's market participation agreement and escalate the matter of non-compliance to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC ) for business continuity. The regulations are starting.”