Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
The Bauchi State Government has admitted that it owes the Jos Electricity Distribution Company (JEDC) a whopping N2.3 billion as outstanding electricity bills.
The regional manager of the company in Bauchi, Auwal Jada, had told journalists in an interview in his office on Wednesday that the Bauchi State owes the firm N2.3 billion accumulated monthly bills.
Jada, who said this while reacting to citizens’ outcry over epileptic electricity supply in the state, said the accumulated monthly bill was from 2013 to date.
He explained that the government does not pay more than 50 per cent of its bills as and when due.
According to him, despite the huge unpaid bills owed by both government and residents, the company supplies a minimum of six hours power in all parts of the state capital per day.
Speaking on the matter in an interview Thursday, the Senior Special Assistant to the Bauchi State Governor on Media, Comrade Mukhtar Gidado, who admitted owing the company, however, blamed it on previous administrations.
Comrade Gidado emphasised that since the Bala Mohammed-led government came on board, efforts had been made to settle the debts.
According to him, “Yes, it is true that there is a debt of this amount (N2.3 billion) that the government is yet to pay JEDC but you know that this government is just eight months in office now and this debt has accumulated for the past seven years.
He also said: “When this new government came on board, they (JEDC) approached it and out of the goodwill of this government, the two parties sat down and are now trying to reconcile.
“Based on the position of the government, there are some institutions like schools and courts that are supposed to be part of this arrangement but they have been without power for a long time because it had been disconnected but the bill did not change. Every month, they would bring the same amount as bill and this has accumulated to the N2.3 billion.”
He further added: “Since this government took over, for us to be able to streamline this, we have been paying N33 million on a monthly basis”