The Enugu State Government and Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) are embroiled in debt row as each claims that the other is owing it.
A Director and board member of EEDC, Dr Steven Dike said, in Enugu, on Wednesday, that the state government owed the company N2.6 billion in unpaid bills.
Dike said that the debt was an accumulation over the years, the highest any organisation or government agency had ever owed the company in the state.
He said that all efforts to get the state government to pay the debt had failed.
The director accused some government officials in the state, including two serving commissioners and some hoteliers of power theft, adding that the debt had worsened the financial state of the company.
“Two serving commissioners and some hoteliers intentionally by-passed their pre-paid meters and when you do this the masses suffer the consequences,” he said.
According to him, instead of paying the debt, the government has resorted to unleashing the state assembly on the company.
“The assembly passed a vote of no confidence on the EEDC because the state government does not want to pay the debt,” he said.
Dike said what the company needed from the state government was cooperation and not vilification.
He said that the state had the largest pool of staff in the company.
“Ezeagu, Udi and Nsukka local government areas of the state have the highest employees in the company. Yet, the state government is fighting the company over debt it owed it,” Dike said.
However, the Enugu State Commissioner for Information, Dr. Godwin Udeuhele in a swift reaction refuted the debt claim by EEDC.
Udeuhele said that contrary to the claim, it was the company that owed the state government N300 million from over billings.
The commissioner said when the debt issue arose, a joint committee was set up to sort out the matter as well as to find out the true position of the debt.
He said that before the committee started work, the state government had in error remitted N100 million to EEDC as part of the supposed debt.
“The true position is that the state government had paid N100 million out of the outrageous bills they brought.
“The two parties then agreed to set up a committee to reconcile the bills.
“The joint committee sat severally and observed that the EEDC was the one owing the state government N300 million in over billings.
“Unfortunately, the representatives of the EEDC in the joint committee refused to sign the report of the committee they participated in and this gave rise to the intervention of the state assembly,” Udeuhele said. (NAN)