Pay PHCN bills or be disconnected – House tells security agencies

Channels Television  
Updated April 20, 2012

The House of Representatives has given the Armed forces and other security agencies one month to settle their electricity bills with the Power Holding Company of Nigeria or risk being disconnected.

This is one of the resolutions reached after a debate on the urgent need to address the failure of some corporate customers of the company to pay their electricity bill, which is estimated at billions of naira.

The issue of funding has been identified as a major hindrance to the power sector reform and this situation is not being helped as billions of naira are said to be owed the PHCN by customers.

A motion staged before the House of Representatives, incident of how the PHCN was being owed 41 billion naira was revealed to the members of the House.

Honourable Patrick Ihkhariale revealed that the Armed Forces comprising the Navy Air force, Nigerian Police, departments and agencies are owing the PHCN billions of naira on regular basis despite budgetary appropriations that these public institutions get to run their annual activities.

It however attracted debate within the lawmakers as some feel it is not in the business of the House of Representatives to drag itself into the issue of debt recovery for some government agencies while some felt the defaulting agencies be handed over to the EFCC or be dealt with accordingly.

Hon. Leo Ogor; argued that the law should empower the anti-corruption agency; the EFCC to go after MDA that has failed to remit what it was charged by the PHCN to it while Hon. Kamil Akinlabi from PDP Oyo state said the House is not supposed to reduce itself to the level of acting as a debt recovery agent.

The house however resolved that a joint committee be mandated to investigate how the funds allocated for electricity in the budget were utilized.