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Nationwide blackout in February was deliberate –Adelabu

…says govt owed N1.3trn for electricity generation, transmission

The Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu has said that the national blackout in February was deliberate while noting that the federal government has not been fully funding electricity subsidies in the past. Noting that the inaction had been accumulating as debts to the generating companies and transmission companies, the minister said that there were claims that the government owed N1.3trillion for generation while some companies that supply gas claimed that the government was owing them$1.3billion. He disclosed these while speaking on TV yesterday which was monitored by Saturday Telegraph.

He spoke on “Electricity Tariff Subsidy.” He said: “We have never enjoyed stable electricity. Everybody knows that. I am also a Nigerian; I have lived here all my life. But what happened in the last two months is also the issue of subsidy. All the subsidies we have been enjoying, they have not been fully funded by the government so they have been accumulating as a debt to the generating companies and transmission companies.

And the companies have continued to produce, generate and transmit despite the huge debt. “But in February, they came up and said ‘Government you are owing us N1.3trillion for generation. The gas companies are saying the government is owing them $1.3billion for supplying gas, you must start paying us down unless we would not produce again.” “Production and generation went down from 4,500MW to 3000MW.

That was why you noticed that nationwide black out in February. It was deliberate. The people (companies) refused. So, it took me so much effort to go round, still appealing to them that the government has them in mind. That we will start paying now. That is what caused it. The past administration was outgoing, they did not have much to squeeze out from them. But this is a Renewed Hope administration, they said: ‘Let us pull our weight for them to know that we are important so that they will start paying us our debt.’”

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