July 21, 2024
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ELECTRICITY

Nigerian Govt to Investigate Ajaokuta Steel Company N33bn Electricity Debt

The Nigerian Government on Thursday said it would investigate how the non-functioning Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL) is owing N33 billion in electricity debt which prompted the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to disconnect the company from the national grid.

TCN has suspended operations at ASCL for owing despite the yearly budgetary allocations made for electricity at the company.

Shuaibu Audu, the Minister of Steel Development, revealed this to State House correspondents after meeting President Bola Tinubu at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.

TCN had on Wednesday disconnected ASCL from the national grid over its failure to settle the debt owed to the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) and service providers.

The company owes energy and capacity delivered by NBET N30.85 billion while the remaining N2.22 billion is owed to service providers.

The minister vowed to consider the matter, expressing surprise at how the company accumulated such debt in electricity consumption when it had not been operating at full capacity. ASCL has been out of operation for about 45 years.

“I mean these are some of the things that need to be looked into. One of the things I spoke to the MD of Ajaokuta today, and this was one of the questions I asked and we’re going to get to the bottom of it: why consumption of so much electricity in a place that is not operating at full capacity?

He explained that the Managing Director of the company told him that most of the money was in interest payments.

He added, “So, if we as a government ministry, government agency are trying to revive Ajaokuta and working hard to do that, we should not have another hand within the same government making things very difficult for us. And so, part of what we plan to do is to sit down in the next few days as quickly as possible to be able to come up with a plan so that they can put it back on the grid and put things back in order.

“We need the support of everyone including the electricity company to be able to help us to get this project back on track so that we can create the hundreds of thousands of jobs I want to create for Nigerians.”

 

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