The Management of Enugu Electricity Distribution Company has appealed to the Federal Government to settle the N4.4bn electricity bills of its Ministries, Departments and Agencies in the South-East.
Acting Managing Director of the company, Mr Paul Okeke, made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Enugu.
He said that the debt had been outstanding since 2016, adding that additional bills had accrued to the MDAs from 2017 and were not part of the N4.4bn.
Okeke explained that bulk of the debt owed by the MDAs stemmed from electricity consumed by military formations in the zone.
He said that the debt profile of electricity consumers in the area had remained huge at all strata of the company’s customers’ profiles.
He decried the situation, saying that the huge debt had been retarding the company’s capacity to improve on its services to customers.
The managing director urged lawmakers and other stakeholders to urge the Federal Government to see reasons why the huge debt should be settled “to help to keep the operations of the company running optimally’’.
He disclosed that another big challenge faced by the company was energy theft, saying “we lose billions of Naira each month to energy theft by people and it seems like the theft is currently endemic.
“We are constantly deploying new technology to prevent energy theft, but it seems that those behind this retrogressive act always look for new ways to perpetrate their evil intentions.
“I will implore the National Assembly to enact a law that will put stringent penalty on people that engage in energy theft.
“In the same vein, I will like the legislature to establish a special court for prosecution of those who engage in the act,’’ Okeke said.