National Theatre in darkness over unpaid N9m debt

National Theatre in  darkness over unpaid N9m debt
August 01 06:03 2016

The Eko Electricity Distribution
Company Plc (EKEDC) on Sunday
said electricity supply to the
National Arts Theatre in Lagos
was disconnected because its
management failed to pay over N9
million debt.
Idemudia Godwin, General
Manger, Media Communications
of EKEDC, told the News Agency
of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the
complex was disconnected after
several appeals and demand
notices went unheeded.

According to him, the debt is an
accumulation of unpaid bills over
time.
“We don’t disconnect without
serving notice.
“Besides, we recently ran a
newspaper advertisement
informing all ministries,
departments and parastatal
agencies (MDAs)of government
that were indebted to EKEDC of
our intention to disconnect them.

“We have commenced
disconnection of all historic
debtors that include: residential,
commercial, industrial and
government establishments within
our network,’’ he said.
The EKEDC spokesman said that
the astronomical indebtedness by
some customers was taking its toll
on the company.

This had seriously been impacting
negatively on the entire value
chain in the power sector
equation, he said.
According to him, only 25 per cent of this debt
actually belongs to DISCOs, the rest are for
other companies in the value chain-
generating companies, bulk traders, gas
suppliers, among others.
“So if you do not pay and you accumulate
debt, what you are looking at is a possible
total collapse of the entire power sector.

“That is what we seek to avert by this action.
We need this fund to energies the power
sector; to ensure electricity supply and to
grow the sector,’’ Idemudia said.
He stated that the operations of all
distribution companies were hampered by
huge indebtedness by the “historic debtors.’’
An official of the National Arts Theatre who
did not want his name mentioned confirmed
to NAN on Sunday that electricity supply to the
complex had been disconnected for close to a
week.
The source said that the ongoing programme
in one of the theatre’s halls was been powered
by generator.

However, efforts to speak with the
management of the theatre failed as they did
not pick calls made to their cell phones.
NAN reports that the disconnection affected
business activities around the National Arts
Theatre complex.
NAN also reports that on July 24, Sunday
Odutan, Executive Director, Association of
Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED),
decried the huge indebtedness of government
establishments and military formations to the
distribution companies.
He gave the statistics of indebtedness of the
distribution companies as follows –Abuja
DISCO: N18.6 billion; Eko DISCO: N8.6 billion;
Kaduna: N8.2 billion and Enugu: N7.2 billion.
Others are Ibadan: N6.8 billion; Ikeja, N5.9
billion; Port Harcourt, N6.8 billion; Benin:
N5.8 billion; Jos: N6.5 billion; Yola: N2.4
billion and Kano: N1.2 billion.

(NAN)