The various electricity distribution companies in the country appear to be ready for a showdown with their historic debtors as the utility companies are bent on recovering their unsettled bills, which could result in mass disconnection of electricity supply to the debtors.
The electricity distribution companies have, for months, been groaning under severe liquidity constraints because of unpaid utility bills, from Residential customers to Commercial, Industrial and particularly, from the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDA, across the three tiers of government.
Military and security agencies are similarly guilty of huge indebtedness to the distribution companies.
The Executive Director, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors, ANED, Mr. Sunday Oduntan, a lawyer, disclosed that, as of the end of April, the total indebtedness of MDAs, military and security agencies inclusive, stood at approximately N93 billion made up of N39.1 billion pre-privatisation and N39.5 billion post privatisation as well as outstanding interest of N15 billion, which the bulk trader charges DISCOs for late payment of their Energy bills arising from non-settlement of utility bills.
According to him, a breakdown of the sum include: Abuja DISCO, 18.6 billion; Eko DISCO, 8.6 billion; Kaduna, 8.2 billion; Enugu, 7.2 billion; Ibadan, 6.8 billion; Ikeja, 5.9 billion; Port Harcourt, 6.8 billion; Benin, 5.8 billion; Jos, 6.5 billion; Yola, 2.4 billion; and Kano, 1.2 billion.
It should be recalled that last October, the Distribution companies, together with National Electricity Regulatory Agency, NERC, the Nigerian Bulk electricity Trader, NBET and electricity generating firms met with the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and a modality for settlement of outstanding receivables from the government agencies was worked out.