12 September 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said the federal government had verified only N27 billion out of the excess claim of N90b made by the power distribution companies, discos’ as a debt owed by the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies.
He made the statement during the 19th monthly Power Sector Operators meeting held at Akangba, Surulere.
While responding to allegations made by Mr. Dallas Peavey Jnr. the MD/CEO of Egbin Power plant over outstanding indebtedness, the Minister said Mr. Peavey had left out the N90 billion discovered as excess claim, adding that only about N27b had been verified.
However, the Minister refused to either debunk or accept that FG owed Egbin Plc N125b as claimed by Mr. Peavey.
“Mr. Peavey told the visiting senators (from the US in August) that Government was owing them N125 Billion. I am compelled to use this platform to respond to these allegations. Let me start by saying that Mr. Peavey did not tell his visitors how that N125 Billion was made up. He did not also tell them that MDA debts owed to Discos had been verified and instead of claims in excess of N90 Billion submitted as owed by the Federal Government, only about N27 Billion has been established by verification,” he said.
In August, Egub MD/CEO, alleged that FG owed the company 125 billion naira ($352 million).
Egbin Power Plc is the largest power generating station in Nigeria with an installed capacity of 1,320 MW consisting of 6 Units of 220MW each.
Since the beginning of President Buhari’s regime, the discos have laid claim to N58b debt owed them by MDAs.
However in April, Fashola said government would pay off only verified debts the discos.
Fashola added government has approved a payment assurance guarantee for all power produced to the grid and that some payments have been made, while others are being processed as agreed at Kano meeting and the Abuja meeting in July.
“He did not tell his visitors that his company either knew of these debts when his employers bought the plant or failed to do the due diligence that will have disclosed it to them”.
Fashola also said the Ministry of Finance has announced a programme to issue promissory notes for inherited debts subject to parliamentary approval.