• Why we sealed Enugu DisCo’s offices — State govt

    Why we sealed enugu discos offices state govt - nigeria newspapers online
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    The Enugu State government said on Tuesday that it sealed off offices of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) in the state due to its inability to provide customers with prepaid meters in line with NERC’s order.

    It stated that the company had continued to rip off customers in the state through estimated billings, adding that it had gone ahead to disconnect some state government offices on account of nonexistent debts, describing the action as unlawful, malicious, callous, and vexatious.

    EEDC decried the sealing of its offices in the state without notice by officials of the state government on Tuesday, stressing that the development had disrupted its operations. It said in a statement by the head of communication, Emeka Eze, that the officials invaded the facilities in the early hours of the day when work was yet to resume.

    Recall that the company had last week also notified its intentions to disconnect all government houses, institutions, and organisations, alleging that it is owed over N18 billion.

    But in a statement on Tuesday, signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof Chidiebere Onyia, the Enugu State government faulted EEDC’s claim of its indebtedness to the company to the tune of N1.3 billion, explaining that besides prompt payment of all electricity bills received from the EEDC since May 2023, the Governor Peter Mbah administration had cleared two months’ backlog of debts.

    It added that clearing the debts was in line with the governor’s commitment to offset all legitimate electricity debts inherited from his predecessors.

    The letter titled “Re: Notice of Disconnections to Indebted Customers and Actual Disconnections of Enugu State Government Offices,” read in part, “Enugu State Government received the disconnection notice published in national daily newspapers. We have also received the information that EEDC has disconnected some Enugu State government institutions.

    “We note that both the publication of notice of disconnections and the actual disconnections on Saturday, 8th June 2024, were based on wrong premises and total disregard for NERC rules and standing Orders on estimated billing of Maximum demand customers.

    “Accordingly, the state government notes as follows: That EEDC letter dated 7th June 2024 addressed to His Excellency, the Governor of Enugu State, states that the outstanding electricity bill is N1,319,571,131.21.

    “That the said outstanding electricity bills are estimated billings of Maximum demand agencies and parastatals of the state government carried over from the last administration, as the current administration has diligently and promptly paid all bills received from May 2023 to date, including two months from the carried-over bill, which it has shown commitment in good faith to settle.

    “In conclusion, the government demands detailed bills and the accounts statements/histories of the government agencies that make up the claimed state’s indebtedness to EEDC for forensic audit investigations.

    “Following the NERC Order NO/197/2020, the government hereby notifies EEDC management that it will no longer pay any electricity bills based on the estimated billing methodology.

    “The government notes that it has carried out electricity infrastructure intervention projects investment totalling N2,979,334,305.19, from which EEDC collects revenue. The government demands payments for the investment costs and other debts owed by EEDC to the government.

    “Finally, the government demands immediate retraction of the malicious publication and immediate reconnection of all disconnected government agencies as the basis for a truce,” the government concluded.

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