N156bn debt: Threat of shutdown may collapse economy – Group

*Electricity distribution sub station.

*Electricity distribution sub-station.

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

13 August 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – A civil society advocacy group, Consumer Rights Advancement Organisation, CRADO, has warned that the threat of a nation-wide shutdown by electricity generation companies, Gencos, over N156 billion debts should be taken seriously since it was capable of collapsing the national economy.

Mr. Adeolu Ogunbanjo, the President of CRADO, on Friday, condemned the development and urged the government to urgently step in to save over 170 million Nigerians from total darkness.

He appealed to the Federal Government to engage the Gencos to stop any such act that may grossly hamper business activities in the country.

The Gencos, in newspaper advertisements last week threatened to shut down their plants over N156 billion debts owed by some government agencies.

Ogunbanjo appealed to both the legislature and the executive to assist these companies in ensuring the recovery of the debts so as not to cripple the economy.

He further suggested that government should initiate settlement of the debts through the Central Bank of Nigeria and Nigeria Electricity Stabilisation Fund.

He said that the non-availability of gas was the biggest challenge facing these Gencos, adding that if there was adequate gas supply to these companies, electricity generation would be increased from the current 2,673.4 Megawatts.

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