By Ayobami Adedinni and Gbenga Diya
The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distribution Companies (ANED) has accused the Nigerian Army, Ministries and Departments of government of stealing electricity.
Speaking with Nigerian NewsDirect recently, the Executive Secretary, Sunday Oduntan revealed that these among other factors are the challenges faced by the Distribution Companies (DISCOs)
He said, “We have government; we have ministries, departments and agencies owing us. We have the Ikeja cantonment that have never paid for light and there they are, they use light and they are not paying and all the military installations in Nigeria everywhere. It is a sad thing for the country.”
According to him, the debt owed is over N100 billion.
“I will continue to talk about this until it is paid. When it is paid, I will be the first person to go to the press and say thank God they have paid their debt and when they only pay part of the debt I will say they have only paid part. I am talking about the debt of over N100 billion from about Nov 1, 2013 till date.”
He said part of the reasons power supply in the country keeps deteriorating is because of the liquidity crisis.
In his words, “There is also a lot of merging debt, we owe the market because we are not able to pay for all the electricity that we receive because people are not paying, people are also stealing a chunk of the energy received.”
“We know there are so many Nigerians who are simply thieves, all they do is to steal energy and yet they want energy. You cannot eat your cake and have it, you want there to be power but you do not want to pay for that same power that you want.
“What we are saying is that if they are taking something they must be ready to pay for it; electricity is a product like any other product. It is not different from other products.”
He however assured that efforts are being made by the government and all stakeholders involved in order to improve the situation.
“Though we still have a lot of honest Nigerians who are willing, ready and able to pay for the energy they consume. I hereby on behalf of the industry apologize to them for this erratic power supply and I want to assure you that efforts are being made by the government and all the stakeholders to do something about the situation,” he added.