17 February 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Presidency has disclosed that is indebted to Abuja Electricity Distribution Company to the tune of N552 million and sewage charges of N52.8 million.
The Permanent Secretary of the State House, Mr. Jalal Arabi, made this known when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs to defend the 2017 Budget.
Arabi defended the N94.4 million budgeted for the bullet proof tyres.
He also explained that the N100 million proposed in 2016 for kitchen equipment was not released.
According to him, “There is a proposal for the sum of N52.8 million in the 2017 budget.
“The Committee may wish to be informed that the bills received from Abuja Environment Protection Board for liquid waste disposal for the state House for 2016 is in the sum of N15.6 million, with outstanding liabilities of previous years standing at N37.5 million (totaling N52.8m).
“This figure has remained consistent over the years.”
He added that, “This informed the provision of the same figure in the sum of N52.8 million in 2017. This position was the same sought for in our 2016 proposal, but only a paltry sum of N6.1 million was appropriated.
“We have, however, commenced negotiation with AEPB in order to arrive at a mutually acceptable charge henceforth. A sum of N45.3 million only was approved in the 2016 budget for this purpose.
“Suffice it to inform that the State House electricity bill for 2016 alone as forwarded by Abuja Electricity Distribution Company for State House Abuja was N252 million, with another outstanding liability of over N300 million for State House, Lagos facilities.
“Clearly, the provision in the 2016 Budget could not accommodate this.”
Arabi added that, “It may interest the Committee to note that in 2016, it took the management of the State House the installation of meters to ensure proper billing and that was what reduced the bill to reasonable figure.
“However, since these bills are currently subject of reconciliations, we have made a modest provision for the sum of N319.6 million for 2017 to settle current and part of outstanding bills.”