18 July 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — Information reaching Sweetcrude Reports has revealed how N37 billion issued for metering was embezzled in 2003.
According to a reliable source who revealed this much, the money was issued by the government 14 years ago for the supply of 3 million meters to defunct National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) cum Power Holding Company of Nigeria.
Upon privatization in 2013, the Bureau of Privatisation, (BP) and the electricity distribution companies, (Discos), signed an agreement to meter every home within the first three years of its operations.
However presently, the discos have been unable to meter at the pace at which they were expected to meter.
SweetcrudeReports learnt that upon privatisation, the government promised to support the discos’ metering process with 3 million metres, however, up till date, the discos are yet to be given the meters.
A source in one of the discos told this Newspaper that it was wrong for the government to “always blame the discos for lapses in the metering process when it has also failed to deliver on its promises to hasten metering,” he said.
Upon investigation, a source close to the government who did not reveal the identity of the company issued with the contract, said government “did its part by giving out the N37 billion contract but up till date, hasn’t got any clue of how the money was spent or what it was used for,” he said.
We learnt that although the contract was issued before privatisation, it was not performed until the privatization was concluded in 2013.
According to him, the “problem of metering was inherited by the Buhari government”.
We also learnt that there is presently a court case by the discos, and a judgment of N119 billion had been signed against government.
However, our source revealed that the government is working to get the case out of court, and has negotiated the judgment to return to the N37 billion contract.
“The government wants to settle out of court and to see how many meters it can now provide, and how to install them. The terms of the agreement are still being finalized”, our source said.
He said that the N119 billion was way too much for the government “at this time”.
“It’s better we settle out of court so that the government can play its own role in the process and stop blaming the discos for the metering gap,” he added.