Private Company Held N32 Billion Meter Supply Fund For 20 Years

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The Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, has claimed that a private company kept N32 billion paid into its account for the supply of three million prepaid metres in 2003.

Adelabu said the federal government entered a tripartite agreement with Messrs Ziklagsis Network Limited and Unistar International in 2003 for the supply of meters to Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) in the country within three years.

In a statement on Wednesday by his spokesperson, Bolaji Tunji, the minister said the federal government released a “revolving metering loan” of N32 billion to Messrs Ziklagsis to start the project.

The statement reads: “The agreement was not implemented while the fund remained in the bank account of Ziklagsis at the then Prudent Bank from where it moved to Skye Bank, Polaris and lately, Providus Bank.”

He said with the privatisation of DisCos, the government proposed the metering of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to accurately determine the consumption of the MDAs and also reduce accumulated debts.

Adelabu also denied reports that the mass metering project of military formations, which commenced last week, did not follow due process.

He said the Nigerian army, concerned about its massive electricity debt, had written to the presidency to request assistance in paying off the outstanding debt and metering their formations.

Adelabu said the ministry was instructed by the federal government to investigate the army’s request and use the N32 billion with Ziklagsis.

The statement added: “He, therefore, mounted pressure and escalated the matter to the presidency for the retrieval of the revolving fund from Messrs Ziklagsis plus accrued interest to date. This was duly approved by the President.

Upon the President’s approval, N12.7 billion was therefore to be released in tranches to De Haryor Global Services to commence installation of already procured smart meters.“

The minister said he wondered how money meant for a national project could be held up untouched for over 20 years by an individual.

Adelabu said he should be commended for his efforts in securing the recovery of the revolving metre fund which had been untouchable for over 20 years, thus enabling the eventual take-off of the project.

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