BY Tony Edike
ENUGU-MINISTER of Power, Professor Barth Nnaji, said Monday that the Federal Government was working out an arrangement to recover debts owed various distribution companies of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, across the country by its agencies.
The debt profile, said to be over N100 billion, had accumulated over the years, due to non-payment of electricity bills by the military, police and other government institutions.
The PHCN management had repeatedly cried out over the outstanding debt which had seriously weighed down its operations.
Speaking with newsmen in Enugu yesterday, Professor Nnaji said everything possible would be done to recover the money which would go a long way in boosting activities in the power sector.
He said: “We are organizing to ensure that the debts owed by various government agencies are paid.
“We have to do that because people have to pay their bills and in any case every government agency has its budget to settle this kind of bill. So it is being addressed.”
Nnaji, who also spoke on the long agitation by leaders of the South-East geopolitical zone for the reactivation of Oji River Power station, said categorically that the Federal Government had no plans to continue with the plant.
He said the 35 megawatts-capacity coal-fired power plant built to generate power for the South East had become too dilapidated and could not be reactivated, stressing that the Federal Government was planning to build another 1,000 megawatts coal- powered station in Enugu.