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FG Recovers Over $64.630 From Two Countries

By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba
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The federal government debt recovery drive against international nations owing for the supply of electricity since the past years has started yielding the desired result as two nations – Niger and Benin Republics, have forcefully coughed out a whooping sum of $64. 630, 065 to offset their debts.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Barr Babatunde Fashola, gave the revelation Monday while commissioning the 330KVA sub-station in Asaba, Delta State.

He also disclosed that N37 billion has been released for the supply of pre-paid meter to customers, and urged the authorities to fast track the process of providing pre-paid meter to all and sundry to avoid estimating billing.

He said efforts were intensified in recent times by the federal government to ensure that the international customers’ debt profiles on power were reduced in order to liquidate the challenge in the power sector.

According to him, the sector was able to hit 7,000MW due to the stable peace in the gas producing area of Niger Delta region, stressing that the peace had contributed immensely towards the steady production and supply of gas to power projects.

The minister said for the first time, in the history of power sector hydro and gas combined together to improve electricity needs of the country.

“This is a fair balance and now that the waters are going down it is also the time for us to prove our mettle by stabilizing upward, the power being generated.”

The minister appealed to law makers in the country to come up with legislation prohibiting encroachment on the right of way of power lines, vandalization of electricity installations and another that will support collection of bills among others.

He enjoined consumers to avail themselves with the opportunities at customers’ fora to address their grievances rather than congesting the courts with litigations especially against distribution companies.

The minister appealed to electricity consumers to pay their bills regularly without which DISCOs would find it difficult to provide services, adding that the greatest challenges facing consumers were estimated billings and insufficiency in mater which he said were being addressed by Nigeria Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC).

On Rural electricity agency aimed at improving power in corea rural areas, the minister said guard lines have being completed while the Manbila Platau electricity project which has being on the drawing board for over 40 years has being signed to commence activity.

The minister had earlier led other stakeholders to commission the 2x15MVA injection substation in Asaba.

Speaking at the occasion the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Benin Electricity Distribution Company Mrs. Funke Osibodu said with the switch on of the facility, feeder limitations would remain a thing of the past as industrial clusters around the state capital would enjoy dedicated lines for 24 hours.