Ugwuanyi in Talks with Enugu Disco Over N2.6bn Unpaid Electricity Bills

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The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) has said that it held a meeting at the weekend with the Governor of Enugu State, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi over the N2.6 billion electricity bills owed by the state government.

The distribution company has also faulted a vote of no confidence passed against it by the Enugu State House of Assembly, saying that the law makers were not fully briefed on the negotiations between the State Government and EEDC before they rushed to pass the vote of no confidence on EEDC.
The company argued that no private company can afford to continue to provide services on credit to a customer owing over N2.6 billion.

According to a statement by the company’s Head of Communications, Mr. Emeka Ezeh, an agreement was reached between the governor and the company on the payment of the outstanding.
The statement added that part of the agreement was the immediate payment of N100 Million to EEDC and subsequent payment of N200 Million before end of April 2017.

“Prior to now, a joint committee of the Enugu State Government led by the Commissioner for Works and Staff of EEDC led by the Head of Revenue Cycle Services had reconciled the State Government accounts and agreed that the State owes EEDC slightly more than N2.6Billion. However, it was also agreed that another round of reconciliation of those accounts between EEDC and Enugu State Government will be carried out between 20th April and 4th May, 2017. Upon this final reconciliation, a payment plan will be negotiated between EEDC and the State Government,” Ezeh explained.

Ezeh also pointed out that the two parties agree that EEDC will install prepaid meters in all Enugu State Government offices and secretariat.
“It is important that customers realise that EEDC is a private company in a highly regulated industry that relies solely on revenue derived from electricity delivered to them.

With a total outstanding debt to NBET of over N77 Billion, which includes the N2.6Billion owed by Enugu State, at 21 per cent interest rate EEDC had no choice but to disconnect some of the State Government offices,” the statement added.
On the vote of no confidence passed against the company by the Enugu State House of Assembly, Ezeh said the law makers were not fully briefed on the ongoing negotiations between the State Government and EEDC before they rushed to pass the vote of no confidence.

“We hope that the Assembly will react differently when fully briefed. Sadly, our highest debtors are Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the various levels of Government,” Ezeh added.

“The electricity supply value chain is facing enormous challenge, which is general and not peculiar to EEDC alone; customers therefore need to appreciate this fact. EEDC is committed to the development of not just Enugu State, but the entire South East states; and has been carrying out its operations ethically and in compliance with regulatory guidelines. While EEDC is required to distribute the power it receives to its customers, the customers are equally obligated to pay for the energy they consume. There is no way EEDC can sustain its operations and services as well as that of the electricity value chain if customers do not pay for the electricity they consume,” Ezeh added.

Source: Nigeria Today

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