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Monday, May 16, 2016

DISCOs embark on mass disconnection over ₦93bn debt by Government




Over the weekend, the nation’s power crisis worsened following the mass disconnection of historic debtors by all the electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs), to protest the huge sum of unpaid electricity bills by this class of consumers, which includes residential, commercial, industrial and government establishments, reports ITRealms.

As at last calculation, ITRealms gathered, government establishments, including the military and security agencies owed a total sum of ₦93billion to the DISCOs, whereas the figure comprised ₦39.1 billion pre-privatisation of electricity assets and ₦39.5 billion post-privatisation, and an outstanding ₦15billion bulk trade charges for late payment of electricity bills.

ITRealms recalls that two weeks ago, a deadline was given by the DISCOs within which debtors were to pay their debts or have their electricity supply disconnected, according to the Executive Director, Association of Nigeria Electricity Distributors (ANED),Mr. Sunday Oduntan, his member-companies had to carry out its threat when it became obvious that there was nothing on the table.

“Although we appreciate the efforts of the Vice President, Professor YemiOsinbajo and the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. BabatundeFashola, the stark reality is that there is nothing concrete to hold on to. This was due to the fact that President Buhari has no provision for them in the 2016 budget.

Oduntan also alleged that “No allowance for MDAs debt to DISCOs in the budget, even though we started discussion before the budget was passed. The indebtedness has become so huge that we are truly troubled about how the government would resolve this without a budgetary allocation.”

He explained that the current mass disconnection protest embarked upon by DISCOs was not an exercise targeted at MDAs but all historic debtors.

Okoli Vincent/Vanguard/GEE


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