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FG worried over accumulation of debt in power sector

By The Citizen
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Vice President Namadi Sambo has said that the accumulation of huge debs in the power sector by companies in the country is worrisome.

According to him, the essence of government building the sector is to create jobs and provide constant electricity to Nigerians.

Sambo, speaking at the presidential villa during the inauguration of a committee to address the widening gap in energy delivery to Transmission companies, said it was imperative to convene a meeting to address the issue of delay or non-payment for the electricity supplied by the distribution companies.

The vice president urged the companies to promptly settle contractual obligations to the federal government.

According to him, non-payment for government investment on power may affect the smooth operation of the sector as government is paying for gas and other components to enable the sector to function adequately.

Sambo therefore set up a technical committee set up by Sambo is meant to address the recurring issues.

The committee set up on Friday has the following people as members: the Minister of State for Power, the Director General of Budget, Chairman of National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Market Operator, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), and Chairman of Task Force on Power. The committee has one week to submit its report.

The vice president also set up a committee of the Ministry of Power and Presidential Task Force on Power to assign accounting efficiency officers to the Distribution companies and also come up with a suitable structure for the Market Operator Office.

On the difficulties in payment of salaries to the staff in Yola Distribution office, Sambo directed the committee through the Market Operator to release funds to address the issue of salary, metering, payment for gas and other infrastructural needs to boost power supply.

The Vice President was displeased with the idea of keeping transformers in the stores instead of mounting them for power consumers.

Chief Executives of the eleven Discos had earlier enumerated their challenges some of which were the 50 per cent increase in salaries of staff; increase in the number of staff following the unbundling of PHCN; security challenges in most areas; inadequate meter distribution to customers and other management issues.