By Dipo Olowookere
Some days ago, the Abuja Electric Distribution Company (AEDC) informed the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, that it was owed a huge amount of money by various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Mr Fashola had promised to look into the matter with a view to resolving the issue and making sure the debts were paid by the affected MDAs.
This has now been echoed by the Acting Director-General of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Dr Vincent Akpotaire, who assured power companies that the debts owed by Federal Government agencies would be paid.
Dr Akpotaire, in a statement issued by the Head, Public Communications, Mr Alex Okoh, in Abuja on Wednesday, disclosed that the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo; and Mr Fashola were working to ensure that MDAs pay up.
He, however, enjoined DISCOS to work to improve power efficiency in view of the effort the government was making to get power to the people and also make them pay for it.
Dr Akpotaire was quoted to have made this known during the commencement of the bureau’s periodic post privatisation monitoring exercise at the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) in Oyo State.
He tasked owners of the successor companies of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to make long-term investments to improve their plants’ network and infrastructure.
According to him, DISCOS could still make an impact in spite of the seeming unfavourable operating environment in the country, urging the investors to approach local and international funding sources to improve on their operations such that when the environment stabilises they would not be caught unawares.
“If the network is not improved and metering not aggressively pursued, you cannot reduce technical and collection losses,” he said.