The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) has disclosed that the total debt being owed it by the Federal Government through its ministries, departments and agencies as at December 2015 was N60 billion.
This was revealed by Sunday Oduntan, Executive Director, Research and Advocacy for ANED, on Tuesday, at a media briefing in Abuja, where he explained that the debt was around N58 billion as of December 2015, but had now hit N60 billion in Q1 2016.
He explained that the military, including the Nigerian Army owes N15, 052 billion and have not paid a dime to some discos since 2013.
A breakdown of the Nigerian Army’s debt showed that Benin Disco is owed 2.3 billion; Eko Disco, N1.9 billion; Ikeja Disco N1.6 billion; Jos Disco, N2 billion; Kaduna Disco, N6.6 billion; Kano Disco, N301 million; Port Harcourt Disco, N1.3billion, and Yola Disco, N435 million.
Oduntan alleged that despite the enormous debt, some army personnel were fond of beating up some of the Disco officials for not supplying electricity to their various cantonments.
The practice of the Nigerian military beating up our staff is totally unacceptable and it has to stop. We are calling on the President who himself is a retired general of the Nigerian army and the commander in chief of armed forces, to call his boys to order, he said.
For Nigeria to have a semblance of reliable power supply it needs about 20,000MW which requires huge investments, having achieved 5,074MW recently, with the capacity to do more from stranded assets that are scattered all over the country and can easily translate into another 5000MW.
If you construct a brand new generation plant that can give 10,000MW at about $12 billion, Nigeria can achieve the 20,000MW by 2019.
While apologizing to Nigerians over the deteriorating power situation in the country, Oduntan noted that Nigeria now represents the largest potential energy growth market in the world, declaring that with a population of about 160 million people, Nigeria needs about 160,000MW of power to ensure reliable uninterrupted electricity supply across the country.