Sola Ojo, Kaduna
Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) of Government including the Police and Military are owing Kaduna Electric more than N35 billion accumulated electricity bills over the last six years, the company said.
This was despite humongous budgetary provisions the federal government of Nigeria has been earmarking for the Ministry of Defence and Police more than four years in a row.
For example, in the 2021 proposed budget tagged a “Budget of Economic Recovery and Resilience”, the Ministry of Defence has a proposed allocation of N840 billion, while Police got N441.39 billion – expected to cover all expenses including energy consumption.
Chief Compliance Officer for Kaduna Electric, Lawal Lawal who stated this while fielding questions from Daily Sun during an interactive meeting with energy correspondents in Kaduna, however, expressed hope with the step the government has taken to sort out the humongous outstanding bills which has accumulated between 2014 and 2020.
According to him, “MDA’s are owing Kaduna Electric over N35 billion which has accumulated since 2014 till now.
“We are happy with the step government has taken to sort out the outstanding but the fact remains that there is huge outstanding.
“The federal government sent a team from the Ministry of Power to verify our MDAs. We are happy to report that more than 90 percent of our MDAs are metred so there is absolutely no reason that you are metred and you couldn’t pay.
“We understand a lot of them are claiming liquidity and so on. But, at the end of the day, energy is energy. What is quite surprising is that a lot of these MDAs have generating sets that use diesel. For example, you don’t go to the GSM companies and said because your federal allocation does not come therefore you will not pay for their services.
“And then, some of these MDAs also reject prepaid metres. Sometimes, it becomes double jeopardy for you when you disconnect some of them and you may not be allowed to live when you installed PPM for some.
“But, we are negotiating and we are happy with the level of commitment we are seeing from the government. What remains is the payment of this outstanding”, he hoped.