July 25, 2024
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Power Outages: Nigerian Army Seeks Intervention, Says Corpses Rot in Mortuaries

Corpses in mortuaries within some barracks of the Nigerian Army are rotting away over power outages. Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Taoreed Lagbaja, said. He disclosed this when he visited the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, to seek intervention.

During his visit, Lagbaja regretted that some barracks and cantonments had been in darkness since January.

“Debt owed is loaded on the meter, so no matter the amount of credit we put, the meters pick it automatically… Corpses in the Army mortuaries are decomposing and the owners of the corpses are protesting,” he said.

He further stated that the Army couldn’t raise funds to pay the entire debt and solicited for liquidation as was done in 2005.

He assured the Minister of the army’s unflinching support towards developing intelligence strategies in curbing the menace of electricity infrastructure vandalism.

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Daily Trust reports that Adelabu assured the Nigerian Army of his readiness to dialogue with DisCos to find a way out of the problem.

According to the Special Adviser, Strategic Communication and Media Relations to the minister, Bolaji Tunji, Adelabu reiterated the importance of liquidity and funding in the sector, adding if the debts could not be written off, he would intervene to restructure the debt payment if there was assurance of regular payment by the Nigerian Army.

He further revealed that debt owed by distribution and Generating Companies (GENCOs) is not the only challenge bedevilling the Power sector.

He added that vandalization of power infrastructure which often leads to National grid collapse, theft, inefficiency in billing and collection process, poor metering gap, liquidity, shortage in gas supply, and transmission stations being blown up with explosives in volatile areas are all part of the issues being experienced in the Power sector.

“The fundamental issues in the power sector value chain could be traced back to the last 50 years and a government which is barely eight months cannot use magic to proffer a solution.

The Minister who acknowledged that Power outages are not peculiar to army barracks but a national issue said the DISCOs and GENCOs are profit-oriented organizations.

“We can only plead with them to adopt a repayment plan monthly instead of embedding the whole debt in their meter,” he said.

The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) had given 83 MDAs in its franchise area a 10-day notice to pay the N47.1bn debt they owed the company or risk disconnection.

Aso Rock was listed among the debtors, but President Bola Tinubu waded in immediately after the notice was issued.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had ordered that the debt be cleared.

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