Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) has urged the National Assembly to intervene in the repayment of the N21 billion outstanding debt owed the DisCo by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The Managing Director, EKEDC, Mr Adeoye Fadeyibi, made the appeal during a visit of the Senate Committee on Privatisation to the company on Tuesday in Lagos.
The committee was led on the oversight visit by its Chairman, Sen. Theodore Orji, a former Governor of Abia.
Fadeyibi said the MDAs were the biggest debtor to EKEDC till date.
He stressed that various efforts had been made for the repayment of the debt.
“It is our prayer to this committee to intervene on the repayment of this debt owed over the years by the MDAs,” he said.
According to him, the inability of the DisCo to collect the monies is impeding on its efforts to invest in infrastructure upgrade to improve power supply to customers under its network.
Fadeyibi also called for legislation against energy theft and establishment of electricity special courts to try offenders in the country.
“The biggest threat to our operations are vandals and customers who illegitimately connect to the lines causing revenue loss.
“Prosecution of these types of cases are often prolonged and difficult to conclude because of the technical expertise required by the bench,”he added.
Fadeyibi called for a framework to address illegal independent power producers and sanctioning of associated transactions.
Responding, Orji, said the visit of the committee was in line with its statutory responsibility to oversight privatised entities for better performances.
Orji noted that the debt being owed the DisCo by the MDAs was huge and also an impediment to its mandate of providing quality supply of electricity to its customers.
He said the way the National Assembly could intervene in the repayment was to approve monies for the specific purpose in the annual budget presented by the Executive.
“We believe that there is a need to repay this debt because EKEDC has thousands of Nigerians as employees and the company is providing a critical service which is electricity.
“We will also be looking at the issue of unauthorised persons carrying out electrical installation duties in the country because it is creating problems for the power sector.
“We want to commend the management of EKEDC for being resilient in the face of these challenges,” Orji said.