- The Nation
The house of Representatives Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation is to assist the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) recover a total Debt of almost N13 billion from Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government (MDAs).
The decision of the Hon. Ahmed Yerima- headed committee was sequel to an appeal to the lawmakers by the Managing Director/CEO of the organisation, Ernest Mupwaya, during an oversight visit to the headquarters of AEDC to help in recovering the huge outstanding amount.
The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Ahmed Yerima, said house of reps will ensure legislative intervention that will result in the recovery of the debts owed.
His words: “This is something within the power of the House to work with them and make all the right motions and bills to ensure they collect their money. It is the responsibility of the government to pay bills, you are paying your own bills, no one is paying for you.
“So, it is expected the government pays her share of the bill because we’re all shareholders in this sector. It is expected of the government to do the best they can to pay the bills.”
On the expectation of Nigerians on the privatisation of the power sector, Yerima said: “The expectation of Nigerians is very high, especially in the sector. The Federal Government of Nigeria still has 40 percent of the shares holding in the sector and it is expected also to respect those shares, and to ensure the dividend of the finances return to the public. “So that the government can inject the fund generated in that sector into other areas in terms of developmental projects. Hopefully, there are lots of issues that could be resolved.
“Maybe it would take a couple of years, but proper commitment from the investors and proper supervision from the House and other areas of governance will ensure adherence to the commitment and we will get the right result at the end of the day.”
The Managing Director/CEO of AEDC, Mr. Ernest Mupwaya, earlier in his speech said the company has spent “close to N6.5 billion on infrastructure and other capital expenditure.”
Mupwaya said 50,000 meters have been installed and procurement process for additional 80,000 residential meters has commenced to support mass metering this year.
He said AEDC has ”obtained Indicative Funding Terms from Standard Chartered Bank ( UK) for Export Credit Facility of $50 million to $100 million,” and that a Transaction Advisor has been appointed for procurement and financing to support 120,000 meters installation per year.
He said that tariffs can be affordable if the government shares risks with the Discos, adding that components like interest rates, inflation, foreign exchange and low generation are within the control of government.
He said one of the challenges facing the company is “MDAs not paying more than N12billion debt and increasing foreign exchange impact on gas prices and subsequent cost of energy to Discos.”
Mupwaya thereafter asked for the support of the House Committee in recovering the huge debts.