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Disconnection: Enugu govt tackles EEDC over N1.3bn bill

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Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC)

By Alex Enebeli

The Enugu State Government has reacted angrily to the disconnection of electricity from some of its offices over alleged N1.3 billion accumulated electricity debt by the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC.

The state government, in a statement by Prof. Chidiebere Onyia, Secretary to the State Government described the action of EEDC as unlawful, malicious, callous, and vexatious.

Onyia, in a letter to the EEDC Managing Director, Praveen Chorghade on Tuesday in Enugu also faulted the alleged N1.3 billion debt heaped on the state by the electricity distribution company.

Onyia said the disconnection of government offices, and parastatals like the College of Medicine Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Housing Development Corporation, State Secretariat amongst others were unlawful and callous.

He explained that besides prompt payment of all electricity bills received from the EEDC since May 2023, the Gov. Peter Mbah administration had cleared two months backlog of debts in line with the governor’s commitment to offset all legitimate electricity debts inherited from his predecessors.

Onyia said both the publication of notice of disconnections and the actual disconnections on June 8 were based on wrong premises and total disregard to Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), rules and standing Order on estimated billing of maximum demand customers.

Onyia noted that no disconnection would carried out on any customer that was not metered and billed on estimation.

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According to him outstanding electricity bills are estimated billing of maximum demand on agencies and parastatals of the state government carried over from the last administration.

He said the current administration had diligently and promptly paid all bills received from May 2023 to date.

This, he said, included two months from the carried over bill which it had shown commitment in good faith to settle.

He said the action inflicted malicious damages to the image and integrity of the state government, describing the act as vexatious and completely unacceptable.

Onyia reminded the company that the state government carried out electricity infrastructure intervention projects investment, totaling N2.9 billion from which EEDC collected revenue.

“The government demands payments for the investment costs and other debts owed by EEDC to the government.

“We also demand immediate retraction of the malicious publication and immediate reconnection of all disconnected government agencies as the basis for a truce,” Onyia said.

(NAN)

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